Columbia County voters joined those in Georgia and nine other "super Tuesday" states to head to the polls today for the 2012 presidential preference primaries.
With no other questions on Columbia County's ballot, a light turnout of Columbia County voters is expected, said Board of Elections Director Deborah Marshall.
Of the county’s 85,000 registered voters, “I’m thinking it’s going to be less than 15 percent” to vote in the primary, Marshall said.
“We only have the presidential preference on the ballot,” she added. “We have no issues on the ballot, such as a SPLOST referendum, that sort of thing.”
Augusta's vote today is expected to bring closer to 25 percent turnout, said Richmond County Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey. That's partly due to the Sunday alcohol package sales referendum also appearing on the ballot.
Grovetown voters approved Sunday package sales last November, with sales of liquor, beer and wine beginning Dec. 11. The issue won't appear on Columbia County's ballot until July 31 during the general primaries, and is expected to take effect Labor Day weekend if passed.
For Tuesday's primary, the early voting phase started Feb. 13, followed by advance voting and the state’s first-ever Saturday voting.
During that period, 1,993 voters cast early and absentee ballots, said Columbia County Board of Elections Registration Coordinator Nancy Gay.
Voters must choose between a Democratic ballot with just one name, Barrack Obama, or a Republican ballot, with nine candidates – including at least three who have withdrawn from the race.
Many of the precincts will change after Tuesday’s election in preparation for the July 31 general primary, Marshall said, pending approval by the U.S. Justice Department of redrawn state and local districts.
Notices will be mailed to all voters in June, she said.