By Jason A. Smith
McDONOUGH — Election officials in Henry County hope early-voting totals will reach the 50,000 mark this week.
Elections and Registration Director Janet Shellnutt said 3,709 Henry County voters took advantage of polls being open Saturday, bringing the total to more than 33,000 people since early voting began Oct. 15. She expects to continue seeing a high voter turnout until early voting ends Friday for the Nov. 6 election.
Shellnutt urged voters to go to the polls before next Tuesday to avoid long waits at voting precincts.
“Voting percentages will be 75 to 80 percent this election,” she said. “We’ve got 135,000 registered voters. Subtract 50,000 and you’ve still got a lot.”
Shellnutt was unable to compare this year with 2008 because voters have 21 days to cast ballots in advance as opposed to four years ago, when early voting lasted 45 days.
Lines were particularly long Saturday for the Fairview Library, 28 Austin Road in Stockbridge. Shellnutt said 1,036 people voted there Saturday.
Along with the Fairview Library, early voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday at the Elections and Registration Department, 345 Phillips Drive in McDonough; the Ted Strickland Community Center, 130 Berry St.; the Hampton Train Depot at 17 East Main St. and the Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland St. in Locust Grove.
Shellnutt said voters should not be alarmed if they see long lines at those locations.
“There might be somewhat of a line at the satellites, but it’s not taking long,” she said. “It will be much better than Election Day. I expect lines on Election Day.”