Georgia nears 2016 voting totals during early voting

GEORGIA — Friday was the last day for advance voting in Georgia.

If you didn’t get to vote early, you can still vote on Tuesday.

The state is already seeing record turnout that could shatter the number we saw for the 2016 election.

More than 3.7 million people have cast their ballots in Georgia so far, 4.1 million was the total vote for 2016.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, the state has seen a 71 percent increase in total turnout. Many are braving hours-long lines to make their voices heard.

Some Georgia voters reported waiting more than 10 hours near Atlanta to cast their ballots when early voting started Oct. 12.

“What does it say about the electorate and they’re willing to stand in line 10 plus hours to cast a ballot?” asked Lorena Inclán.

“I think that tells you the importance of this election and the perceived importance of this election, people and by people, I mean candidates are saying this is the election of a lifetime,” Dr. Michael Binder, UNF Political Science Associate Professor.

Georgia’s early voting got off to a rocky start but Action News Jax saw little to no waiting in lines in southeast Georgia today.

Dr. Binder said there are many lessons elections officials are learning from this voting cycle.

“Transparency is vital and listen, things happen. Machines break, there’s problems with different systems, technology isn’t perfect.We all understand that but if they can be straightforward, timely, and transparent about what’s happening, about what they’re doing to remedy it,” said Dr. Binder.

Dr. Binder said there’s one thing elections officials and lawmakers should always keep in mind.

“Always, always, always, lean toward allowing more people the opportunity to vote in a democracy. That’s unparalleled the most important process,” said Dr. Binder.