THOMASVILLE — By noon Thursday, 3,500 members of the Thomas County electorate had cast early ballots at the elections office.
"It's comparable to '16 right now," said Frank Scoggins, Thomas County elections supervisor, referring to the 2016 general election with a U.S. presidential race on the ballot.
This year on Nov. 3, Americans will elect a president, Georgians will elect U.S. senators, and Thomas Countians will elect a sheriff.
The combination of those races on the ballot, among others, brings out voters, said Linda Solana, Thomas County Board of Elections chairman.
"I worked the last couple of days of early voting in 2016, and it was very similar to 1,000 each day. I think we will surpass the grand total of 2016 early voting," Solana said.
More and more people will vote as the three-week early voting period nears the end on Friday, Oct. 30, said Scoggins, who expects "a huge turnout" the last day early ballots may be cast.
Early voting is taking place at the elections office, 1402 E. Jackson St. Voting hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday early voting is Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the elections office.
"The sheriff's race in itself will bring a crowd," Scoggins said. The presidential race is "tight," he added.
"That's ingredients for a big, big turnout," Scoggins said.
About 500 people among the 5,000 who received absentee ballots have surrendered absentee ballots when the individuals voted in person this week.
In addition to absentee ballots being mailed, they may be deposited in a receptacle at the elections office without leaving one's vehicle.
Scoggins said the 5,000 absentee ballots were sent by the Georgia secretary of state's office to people who requested them for the June primary.
Beginning Friday, the local elections office will be responsible for mailing absentee ballots.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820