UPDATE: As of 7:32 p.m., Clayton County Elections and Registration Director Annie Bright provided Clayton News Daily with updated voter turnout numbers that were significantly higher than those originally reported. These figures arrived after press time, however.
JONESBORO — After a week-and-a-half of early voting for the upcoming general election, Clayton County’s voter turnout is already at nearly half of the turnout seen for the July 31 primary.
County elections Director Annie Bright said 17,920 voters have already cast ballots in the general election, where the presidential, sheriff, two congressional and five school board races will be decided. The county had 153,888 registered voters as of Oct. 1, which is the most recent registered voters figure.
That amounts to an 11.64-percent voter turnout for Clayton County. The county saw 36,386 voters — or a 24.13 percent turnout — in the July 31 primary election. Statewide, 688,388 people have already cast ballots for the general election since early voting began last week, according to a voting report released by the Secretary of State’s office.
Although the long lines of voters stretching out of the Historic Clayton County Courthouse mirror scenes four years ago when 67 percent of the county’s registered voters cast ballots, the numbers indicate the county is still far off from the early and absentee turnout for that election.
Nearly 61,000 who voted in the Nov. 4, 2008 general election cast early voting or absentee ballots.
This general election’s turnout also trails the five largest turnouts in the state. The fifth-largest turnout in the state was in neighboring Henry County, which has had approximately 5,000 more early voters than Clayton County.
Clayton County’s turnout will grow as voters continue to have opportunities to cast ballots for the general election in the coming week, however.
The state will hold a Saturday Voting Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at six locations across the county, including:
• Elections and Registration Office, 121 South McDonough St., in Jonesboro.
• Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, 3499 Rex Road, in Rex.
• Frank Bailey Senior Center, 6213 Riverdale Road, in Riverdale.
• Headquarters Library Branch, 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro.
• Lovejoy Branch Library, 1721 McDonough Road, in Jonesboro.
• Morrow Municipal Complex, 1500 Morrow Road, in Morrow.
Clayton County will have another week of early voting, from Oct. 29 until Nov. 2, at the six Saturday voting locations. The polls will be open next week from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.