Election officials discuss potential voter turnout for November

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 7:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A federal judge is allowing Georgia’s ban on giving out food and water in voting lines to stay in place come November.

Groups against Georgia’s recent voting law say it puts people of color at a disadvantage.

Locally, with that same law in place, we did see record turnout on multiple days during early voting in May.

While no one can predict the future on turnout numbers, officials say the return to in-person voting is on the rise, with absentee voting stagnating.

“Even though it’s a midterm, we’re not electing a president, it’s a very very important election,” said Augusta University Professor of Political Science Mary-Kate Lizotte.

Requests for absentee ballots are now open.

With a shorter request and return time, it’s important to keep track of deadlines, such as Oct. 11, when voter registration ends.

Board of Elections Executive Director Travis Doss said: “Any registered voter, for any reason, can request an absentee ballot, but they have to request their own absentee ballot.”

A law preventing food and water from being within 150 feet of a polling place has also recently been upheld for Georgia.

“We’ve already had two elections with that law, which we did not have any problems with,” he said.

Lizotte says the law has other implications

“When I used to live inside the city of Augusta, I did have to wait in line. It was a more diverse line than the people I see at my polling place in the suburbs, and I think that that’s extremely problematic,” she said.

Her best solution is to get ahead.

“I would say make a plan early and show up for early voting, and then you don’t have to worry about any of these other issues,” said Lizotte.