Neighbor vs. Neighbor

Neighbors display dueling signs in the president’s race in the windows of loft apartments in downtown Monroe, Ga., on Friday morning, Oct. 16, 2020.

The long lines from early in the week began to diminish as the days went on — at least locally — but voters’ enthusiasm remained historic.

Georgians shattered records for early voting this week.

“Georgia is a leader in election access,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections officer, said.

“Notwithstanding the pandemic, voters in the Peach State can take advantage of no-excuse absentee ballot voting by mail or through a secure drop box; three weeks of early, in-person voting; or Election Day voting.”

Statewide, early in-person turnout is 62% higher this year than for the 2016 election.

As of the end of voting Thursday, just over 540,000 in-person votes had been cast. That included 156,000 just that day.

By noon Friday, that total was just under 616,000. Add in absentee ballots cast by mail and more than 1.2 million people have voted.

More than 4,000 of the state’s four-day tally came from Walton County, where residents have been scouting out the lines at Nowell Recreation Center in Monroe and Meridian Park in Loganville.

Each election cycle sees an uptick in early voting.

More than 2 million votes were cast in advance of the 2018 election, which included a close race for governor. There were 15,906 in-person and absentee votes in Walton County.

Voters who have requested absentee ballots may mail them in, or return them in secure drop boxes outside the county Board of Elections office at 1110 E. Spring St., Monroe, or at Meridian Park.

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