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Election 2010: Early voting turnout still heavy in Columbus, averaging 100 ballots a day

Turnout for early voting in Columbus is still running heavy at about 100 voters a day casting ballots at the elections office in the Government Center’s west wing.

The number of ballots cast as early voting began last week was comparable to that of the historic 2008 presidential election culminating in Barack Obama’s win, the first for an African-American seeking the presidency.

“Typically we have hardly any the first week,” said Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registration.

On Friday the turnout took a leap as 209 residents voted. The numbers up ‘til then were Monday 111; Tuesday 112, Wednesday 109 and Thursday 85. This past Monday 107 ballots were cast, and as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, a total of 835 residents had voted so far in person. Boren said a grand total of 2,500 residents had cast ballots in person or requested mail-in absentee ballots.

Residents can vote 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the elections office on the ground floor of Government Center’s west wing, 100 10th St.

Boren said voters should remember to bring the appropriate identification, such as a driver’s license or other government photo ID.

In Harris County, residents can vote 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the county commissioners’ office of the Courthouse Annex at 104 N. College St. in Hamilton. The early turnout there was running about average, with around 20 voters coming out each day.

Anyone who has not yet registered to vote must do so by Oct. 4 to cast a ballot in the Nov. 2 election. This year Columbus for the first time will offer Saturday voting in an effort to make the process more convenient for folks who typically are too busy to vote during the work week. Saturday voting will be 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9 and Oct. 23 at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.

The library will serve as a voting poll again during the week of advance voting, Oct. 25 through Oct. 29. Voting hours there that week will be 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Other Columbus polls and times the week of advance voting will be:

The Frank Chester Recreation Center, 1441 Benning Drive, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Columbus State University Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Boulevard, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The elections office in the Government Center’s west wing, where the times will be extended 30 minutes, with voting offered 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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