If the turnout turns out, more than a quarter of the votes already are in.
Final numbers show 7,788 have voted early in Tuesday's party primaries and local nonpartisan elections. Elections director Nancy Boren expects a turnout of around 30 percent. Columbus as of July 1 had 100,623 "active" voters, those most likely to vote. A 30 percent turnout means about 30,000 voters.
The votes cast so far equal 25.96 percent of that.
Boren estimates up to 80 percent of
early voters asked for Democratic Primary ballots. That primary will decide citywide races for Superior Court clerk, Municipal Court judge, Municipal Court clerk and marshal.
Only two Columbus precincts topped the 500 mark in early voting: With 4,596 active voters, St. Paul United Methodist Church in Midtown had 516; and St. John A.M.E. Church on Steam Mill Road had 571 early voters out of an active total of 4,459.
Six precincts topped 400 early votes: The Columbus Public Library, with 481 out of 3,789 active voters; Wynnbrook Baptist Church, with 457 out of 3,105; Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, with 458 out of 4,513; Fort Middle School, with 406 out of 5,454; Rothschild Middle School, with 407 out of 5,559; and Psalmond Road Recreation Center, with 411 out of 4,882.
If Boren's turnout projection pans out, more than 20,000 voters will go to Columbus' 27 polls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Some will go to new voting precincts:
Those who voted at Victory Independent Baptist Church, 3150 N. Lumpkin Road, now vote at the Cusseta Road Church of Christ, 3013 Cusseta Road.
Those in the Hardaway-Clubview precinct who voted at the Columbus Public Library now vote at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2101 Wildwood Ave.
Some Ledger-Enquirer readers have inquired about the newspaper's printing a sample ballot. Columbus has 180 different ballot styles, too many to replicate, and printing an all-encompassing composite can be misleading, as election workers already have been riddled with complaints that people can't vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries, nor in districts where they don't reside.
Voters must choose a Democratic, Republican or nonpartisan ballot, remembering the nonpartisan races also are on party ballots.
Individual voters can review their ballot choices online at mvp.sos.state.ga.us, the Georgia Secretary of State's "MyVoter" page. It also shows which voting precinct to go to.
For those who love demographics, here's a breakdown of Columbus' active voters, as of July 1: 28,132 black female, 18,484 black male; 25,288 white female, 20,408 white male; 693 Asian female, 456 Asian male; 1,065 Hispanic female, 941 Hispanic male; 13 Native American female, 10 Native American male; and 5,133 listed on the Secretary of State's website as "other voters."
Besides showing white voters now are a minority, the stats reveal women are a powerful segment of Columbus' electorate.
A 30 percent turnout this year would fall short of the city's last big election.
In November 2010, Columbus had a 48 percent turnout in citywide elections headlined by races for mayor and at-large council Post 9, which went to runoffs. All told, 47,904 residents voted, 16,564 in advance.
But the previous summer party primaries were not so hot, despite a competitive race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination: The turnout was 13.6 percent; 2,699 ballots were cast early.
So far nothing beats the early voting turnout of 2008: About 38,000 of the 74,000 ballots cast here in the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain came in advance of Election Day -- outdistancing the 10,400 early votes out of 63,700 cast in the 2004 race between George W. Bush and John Kerry