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Election 2018: Thousands vote early in Columbus; Alabama registration deadline’s Monday

Columbus’ early voting poll in the City Service Center at 3111 Citizens Way.
Columbus’ early voting poll in the City Service Center at 3111 Citizens Way.

You do the math – as we say when we don’t want to do it ourselves:

At 7 p.m. Monday, after the first 12 hours of early voting in Muscogee County, 1,436 ballots had been cast in the City Service Center at 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library.

Whether that turnout was just an opening-day phenomenon was yet to be seen – until the next day. And the next. And the next. And the next.

Tuesday tallied 1,414 votes; Wednesday 1,410; Thursday 1,498; and Friday 1,587.

The total for the first five days: 7,345, averaging almost 1,470 a day.

Whether that turnout was just a weekday phenomenon was yet to be seen, until Saturday, when …

Six hundred and eight people voted.

So, maybe it was just a weekday thing. That dropped the average to 1,326.

What’s the matter with you people? You couldn’t vote on a Saturday? Why? Were you too busy watching football? Is that your priority, playing games? Other than politics?

You know, a lot of people sacrificed their lives to ensure you have the right to go to a voting poll and tell the election workers you don’t want to put your finger on a touch-screen machine because the alternative media says that’s how the government gets your fingerprints and plants them at crime scenes.

With all the talk about voter suppression and purges and what not, voting early is one way to be sure you get your ballot in free and clear, without waiting until your last chance on Nov. 6.

In Columbus, early in-person voting continues 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, through Nov. 2 in the service center’s ground-floor community room. Voters should bring a government-issued photo ID.

Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations Executive Director Nancy Boren said the swarm of voters last week did not crowd the poll. The line stretched down the hallway leading from the service center lobby to the community room, but it never stretched so long it had to zigzag in the lobby to accommodate everyone.

“It moves very quickly,” she said.

The poll gets the most voters first thing in the morning and again at midday, and the fewest after 5 p.m., she said.

She still urges residents planning to vote on constitutional amendments and state referenda to see sample ballots in advance, because reading through those takes time.

Georgia voters can see sample ballots at the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page,” www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. Sample ballots also will be available at the voting poll.

In Harris County, the early poll at 104 N. College St. in Hamilton is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone who would like a mail-in absentee ballot still has time to request one, either on the “My Voter Page” or by phone. The number for the elections office in Columbus is 706-653-4392. In Harris County, it’s 706-628-5210.

Alabama

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Eleciton in Alabama, which offers online registration at sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes.

Residents can register online until 11:59 p.m. Monday, or fill out a registration form and mail it in time to get it postmarked with Monday’s date.

Besides congressional contests and races for governor, legislators and other state offices, Russell County has candidates challenging the incumbent coroner and probate judge.

Sample ballots are available online at the Secretary of State’s website and at the probate office at 1000 Broad Street in Phenix City, near the Dillingham Street Bridge. The phone number is 334-298-7979.

Registration forms, absentee ballot applications and other voter information also are online at the probate office website, www.russellcountyprobate.us.

Alabama does not offer early voting.

On Election Day, Nov. 6, neighborhood voting precincts in both Phenix City and Columbus will be open the same hours, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. EST.



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