CONYERS - Nearly a third of registered voters in Rockdale and Newton counties have already cast ballots in the General Election as early voting enters the final week before Nov. 4.
The turnout rate is three times the statewide figure and election officials in both counties have said voting has been brisk this week.
Rockdale County Board of Elections and Voter Registration reported 16,693 ballots cast as of Tuesday, or 31.5 percent of the 52,852 registered voters in the county.
Twenty-seven percent of Newton County voters cast early ballots as of Wednesday. Newton County has 52,735 registered voters, according to a clerk in the Board of Elections office in Covington.
About 12 percent of the state's roughly 5.6 million registered voters have already cast ballots, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Rockdale County election officials have encouraged early voting to cut down on long lines expected at polling places across the county on Election Day.
"This will definitely help alleviate some of the Election Day problems and phone calls," Rockdale County Election Supervisor Cynthia Welch said. "I'm not saying that there won't be lines, but they may be just a tad bit shorter during certain periods of the day."
Rockdale County voters will have an extra day of early voting. The polling place at 1400 Parker Road will be open from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Welch requested the extra day earlier in the year, and it will be the only Saturday voting taking place in the state.
Welch said she hoped the Saturday voting will help those who are unable to reach the Board of Elections office during the week.
The final week of advance voting begins Monday.
Newton County Board of Elections will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Oct. 31 during the last week of early voting. The office is located at 1113 Usher St., Suite 103, Covington.
Rockdale County Board of Elections will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The office will have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 to 31.
Early voting in Rockdale County takes place at the Board of Elections office, located at 1400 Parker Road, Lobby C, Conyers.
Jay Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
What: Advance voting for the Nov. 4 General Election.
Where: Newton Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., Suite 103.
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 31.
More information: Call 770-784-2055.