Early voting in Warner Robins off to running start

chwright@macon.comOctober 15, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Voters crowded into Warner Robins City Hall for the first day of early voting Tuesday, with more than 200 casting ballots, according to Elections Superintendent Kathy Cummings.

“Turnout has been better than ever,” Cummings said in an email. “Looks as though a record for turnout for early voting.”

The three-week early voting period began Monday in Fort Valley and Byron and Tuesday in Warner Robins and Centerville. The number of voters turning out early seemed to correlate with the number of open races.

Warner Robins -- the city with the largest population among the four cities -- has six candidates in the mayoral race, a mayor running for one of the three council seats whose terms are up this year, and a special election for a council seat vacated by a councilman who resigned to run for mayor.

Fort Valley has the next highest number of open seats and the second highest early turnout rate.

According to the Peach County Board of Elections, 61 residents cast ballots as of Tuesday afternoon and 16 others had mailed in ballots. The ballot includes contested races for mayor, two council seats, two utility commission seats and a referendum for Sunday alcohol sales.

In Centerville, 18 voters had cast ballots by Monday afternoon.

The city has one contested council race and a referendum about limiting a senior property tax exemption.

Byron, with one contested council race, had the lowest turnout. Just one voter came in the first day and another nine the second day, according to City Clerk Betty Sims.

“I think maybe people thought we were closed,” Sims said of the single voter on Columbus Day.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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