Weekend voting in Ga. as sprint to Election Day starts

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With a record-breaking early voting turnout, local election leaders expect a major turnout for weekend voting which starts Saturday.

Of course, holding a record-breaking election in the middle of the pandemic adds some additional costs.

This election is anything but typical.

“If you look at the data, young people across the state of Georgia have turned out at least five times more than they did in 2016 at this point,” Ian Bridgeforth with Georgia Shift said.

Voters have already reported long lines in Richmond, Aiken, and Columbia counties, but with weekend voting just a day away they’re looking to ease some of that burden.

Election officials predict even longer wait times on Nov. 3.

“Having weekend voting is so important for people who are either working during the week or have multiple jobs or those kinds of things,” Bridgeforth said.

Lines are the last thing people want to worry about when faced with a virus like COVID.

“It’s quick and easy,” Bridgeforth said. “You can get in and get out much better than standing in a line on Election Day, especially if you have to go to work and that kind of thing.”

Richmond County reports they’ve spent about $267,000 this election on COVID-related expenses.

Lucky for them, much of that was offset by a $400,000 grant from none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Columbia County also reports they’ve spent close to $200,000 on PPE and voting personnel this election.

“They had hand sanitizer, disposable styluses. They had everything that you needed to vote and vote safely,” Bridgeforth said.

Voting safely is of the utmost importance when races like president, senator, and district attorney hang in the balance.

Weekend voting starts at the Bell Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

But starting tomorrow, you can also go to three Augusta community centers to vote as well.

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