GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – A massive turnout has come for the twin cities and surrounding area as Gilmer’s Voter Registration Office is reporting record numbers in absentee voting.
A total of 1,482 voters stopped by the office during the early voting for the primaries elections staking their votes on local, state, and national offices. Registrar Sherri Jones said that Friday, June 5, 2020, the final day of early voting,was their busiest day of the entire cycle with 161 voters casting their ballots on that day. Yet, that number pales in comparison to another.
Jones said that the state mailed absentee applications to active voters this year in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Of those applications, a record-breaking 6,117 ballots were requested. Jones said the office has been checking and making signature comparisons and following verification processes. Returning absentee ballots have piled up as they work through the response before tomorrow’s election day.
In fact, they still have not fully processed them all, Jones did confirm, however, that as of 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2020, over 4,141 absentee ballots had been received and processed. This does not count the ballots that are still coming in before the deadline and in processing.
As the final hours count down and tomorrow dawns on election day, absentee’s could make up the largest majority of votes counted against individual precincts.
For comparison, the registrar’s office confirmed that the November General Election in 2016, the presidential election, saw the office mailing 725 absentee ballots and receiving 660 ballots in.
In the November General Election of 2018, the office mailed 614 absentee ballots out and received 550 ballots in.
Gilmer has seen large swings in elections in recent years from early voting, but this could be the first time in years, if ever, that the largest swing comes from absentee ballots.