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Early voters line up Monday at the polling station at 400 E. Main St. in Canton.

More than 5,000 Cherokee County voters cast ballots in the first two days of early voting. But more than 16,000 voters skipped lines altogether by voting absentee ballots, records show.

A total of 2,814 people turned out to cast in-person ballots on the first day of early voting in Cherokee County on Monday, election officials said. About 500 fewer people voted in person on Tuesday. The total for the two days was 5,113.

However, as of end of day Tuesday, 16,359 local voters had cast absentee ballots. So far a total of 42,623 absentee ballots had been issued.

The volume created long lines at polling places on the first day, but the process ran smoothly for those in line, Director of Elections and Voter Registration Kim Stancil said. “It has gone better than I could have hoped for,” she said late Monday afternoon. “I have not been informed of any issues at all.”

Early voting is taking place through Oct. 23 at three locations:

♦ The Elections and Voter Registration Office, 2782 Marietta Highway, Suite 100, Canton, where 865 people voted Monday;

♦ The Elections and Voter Registration warehouse at 400 E. Main St., Canton, where 721 people voted Monday;

♦ And the Cherokee County South Annex, 7545 Main St., Woodstock, where 1,228 people voted Monday.

With three weeks until Election Day, Nov. 3, voters will have opportunities to cast early ballots through Oct. 30.

As the campaign intensifies in its final three weeks, candidates are making stops in the area to court voters. At 11 a.m. Thursday, the Team Trump Bus Tour is making a public stop at the headquarters of state House candidate Charlice Byrd, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, No. 680, according to Republican Party member Harry Abrams. Sen. David Perdue, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Tommy Hicks, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee will be there. On Tuesday Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler was scheduled for an event at Downtown Kitchen in Canton, while Sen. Perdue and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump held a joint appearance in Acworth Tuesday afternoon. Loeffler’s chief Republican rival in the special election, U.S. Rep. Douglas A. Collins has made at least one recent campaign appearance in Cherokee County.

Statewide more than 241,706 people — a record number — piled into polling places across the state to kick off early voting Monday and Tuesday, according to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office. More than 500,000 absentee ballots have already been cast.

Voter turnout in Georgia is expected to top 5 million with a presidential contest and double the usual number of U.S. Senate seats. Perdue’s seat was up for election this year, while Loeffler was appointed to her seat this year after Sen. Johnny Isakson resigned for health reasons. The open race to fill the final two years of Isakson’s term drew more than 20 candidates.

Early voting continues from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 23. Saturday voting is set for Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at both elections office locations, the South Annex, the Hickory Flat Library at 2740 E. Cherokee Drive in Canton, the Ball Ground Public Library at 435 Old Canton Road in Ball Ground and the Rose Creek Public Library at 4476 Towne Lake Parkway in Woodstock. Advance voting begins Oct. 26 and will run through Oct. 30 and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. There will be no voting on Monday, Nov. 2. In addition, ballot drop boxes are now available at the elections office location on Marietta Highway and the South Annex. Both locations are monitored by video cameras for security and are available 24 hours a day. Polls countywide will be open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

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Managing Editor

Gary Tanner is managing editor of The Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Ledger-News and Cherokee Life magazine. He has been working as a journalist since 1985.

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