Early voting is over, and 4,513 voters in Macon-Bibb County took advantage of the early voting period. Though the last two weeks started out slow, voting began picking up Friday, Feb. 19. Last Wednesday, according to the Board of Elections, 505 ballots were cast. On Thursday, 696 cast ballots, and by Friday the visible evidence was pretty clear. The line stretched out of the door before landing in a queue inside the office, amounting to 907 voters. Hopefully that portends a good turnout for the Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday.
We do get our hopes up most times only to have them dashed against the rocks of apathy. But in earlier primary states, turnout, particularly for Republicans, has been better than expected. In Iowa, people who had never caucused before came out in the snow. New Hampshire also had a higher turnout than in previous years. In the South Carolina Republican Primary, turnout shattered records, beating 2012's number by 130,000 voters. Democratic turnout, on the other hand, declined by more than 30 percent.
What will happen Tuesday is anyone's guess, but more people participating in the process is always good, no matter the party. If people are truly as fed up with Washington, D.C., as some of the candidates preach, the best way to send a message is through the ballot box.
This will be the first of many times that Georgians, and particularly Middle Georgians, will go to the polls this year. That picture will start to clear starting March 7 when qualifying begins. By the end of that week, March 11, we'll know which offices will be contested. Hold on to your hats.