With one week to go before election day, Columbus residents continue to vote early in what may be a record average of almost 1,700 a day.
Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations, said Monday afternoon that about 22,000 people had voted in Columbus, averaging 1,692 daily over 13 days.
That number includes mail-in absentee ballots.
That would be a significant increase over the daily average of 2008, during which Barack Obama's campaign to become America's first black president spurred a record early vote here of 38,075.
That year Georgia had about 30 days of early voting, so Muscogee County averaged around 1,270 a day. The Georgia General Assembly in 2011 reduced the early voting period, which this year began Oct. 15 and included two days of Saturday voting. Early voting ends Friday.
With so many casting ballots early and so few days left, Boren said voters should remember that Muscogee County's early voting site at North Highland Assembly of God will be closed all day Wednesday. That 7300 Livingston Drive poll is favored by folks who like to vote before they go to work, because it opens at 7 a.m.
Boren also encouraged voters planning to vote on city charter and state constitutional amendments to read those and decide how to vote before they get to their touch-screen voting machines, else a delay could result in a line of voters waiting their turn.
Voters can download sample ballots online through the Georgia Secretary of State's "MyVoter" page, mvp.sos.state.ga.us.
After Friday, no one will be able to vote in person until Nov. 6.