Though Mike Huckabee won Georgia's presidential preference primary Tuesday, Arizona Sen. John McCain edged out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Columbia County Republicans.
On the other side of the ballot, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama easily defeated New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
McCain took 6,425 of the 19,026 Republican votes cast in Columbia County. Romney had 6,121 votes. Huckabee had 5,685 votes.
Obama had almost 2,000 more votes than Clinton. He received 5,402 votes to the Clinton's 3,568.
Columbia County Board of Elections Director Debbie Marshall called the stream of voters attending the polls "steady."
Voter turnout easily surpassed the 30 percent that Marshall had estimated. In all, 28,277 voters (43.71 percent) cast ballots in Tuesday's primary by Columbia County's voters.
"I'm surprised, but I think it's absolutely wonderful," Marshall said.
With George W. Bush's presidency coming to an end, Marshall said she thinks the excitement of a new president brought many people to the polls.
The number of Columbia County voters easily surpassed those cast in the 2004 primary.
Four years ago, 13,326 out of 52,432 voted, according to figures from the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
On Tuesday, more than 28,000 votes were cast. The number of Republican voters surpassed the entire voter turnout in 2004 and more than doubled the 8,144 Republicans who voted in the previous primary.
More Democrats than four years ago also voted Tuesday. More than 9,200 Democrats voted this year compared to 5,182 in 2004.
Marshall said glitches with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which assigned identification cards to those wishing to vote, forced about 20 Columbia County voters to cast provisional ballots. That gave board of elections officials two days to confirm voters' identities and possibly include their ballots.
Otherwise, the election ran smoothly, Marshall said.
"Everything went well," she said. "We didn't have any major problems."
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