Tuesday Primary Voters, Expect Delays
About 2.5 percent of Bartow County's 57,785 registered voters either took advantage of early voting or have returned via mail absentee ballots, only a small portion of the 40 to 45 percent of registered voters expected to cast ballots.
One of Bartow's top elections officials warns Super Tuesday voters of possible delays at the county's 17 polling locations.
"While there's not going to be a whole lot of long lines on election day, that's not because there's not going to be a lot a whole lot of people there," said Elections Supervisor Joseph Kirk, citing poll workers' ability to scan driver's licenses and only one race on the ballot.
"When folks go in to vote, they've pretty much got their minds made up about how they want to vote in that one race. But, there's still going to be a lot of people to deal with on election day and [voters should] expect some delays."
The approximate 1,000 ballots cast during three weeks of early voting account for only "a small fraction" of what Kirk is expecting—a 40 to 45 percent turnout in Bartow for Georgia's presidential preference primary.
"I'm very disappointed [with early voting]. I was hoping we'd see a lot more participation by now," Kirk said late Friday. "For example in 2008, we expected a higher turnout than we saw during early voting. What happened was folks hadn't made up their minds and didn't make it to my office to vote. And we got slammed on election day at the polls....
"I was hoping we'd see it spread out more this time, where we'd have the ability here in the office to take some of the pressure off [poll] managers on election day."
About 2 percent of the county's 57,785 registered voters, or 1,261, took advantage of early voting at two polling places in Cartersville. Election officials late Friday had mailed 312 absentee ballots, but only 193 had been returned and received.
About 84 percent of Bartow's registered voters, or 48,657, are considered active.
Super Tuesday—with primaries and caucuses in 10 states, including Georgia—represents the biggest single day of voting in the race for the Republican nomination. Georgia's 76 delegates are the most up for grabs.
While President Barack Obama is the only candidate in the Democratic primary, Republicans have a number of contenders, although many already have dropped out of the race. The four remaining are Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
Kirk had some interesting advice for voters who favor none of the candidates for president—cast a blank ballot, The Daily Tribune News reports.
—Information from the AP was used in this report.