Through Friday, 4,334 county residents had already cast ballots for the July 31 primary election for races such as the county chairman. The ballot also includes such hot-button issues as the TSPLOST referendum.
There are 396,416 Cobb residents registered to vote.
Early voting started July 9 and ends July 27. Today is the only Saturday for early voting, and the main election office in Marietta will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At midday Friday, the elections office was full, with more than a handful of people waiting in line to get their ballots. Several voters have reported bustling foot traffic when they went to vote.
Janine Eveler, Cobb’s elections director, said the turnout so far was as expected.
She declined to predict the county’s overall turnout for the July 31 vote, but said the average turnout for primaries in Cobb is about 30 percent. The last time there was a summer vote was in July 2010, which saw a gubernatorial primary as well as a special election for Cobb chairman. Turnout for that election was 22.5 percent.
Ami Hutcheson, a business analyst who works out of her northeast Cobb home, said she voted on Friday because she will be traveling on Election Day.
“Mostly I was coming for TSPLOST,” Hutcheson said. “I voted no mostly because I didn’t like what they did with 400.”
On Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that tolls on State Route 400 would end next year, which he said is reason for voters to endorse the 10-year sales tax known as the TSPLOST. Critics, though, called it a political ploy.
During the half-hour the Journal was at the elections office on Friday, every voter interviewed said he or she voted against the TSPLOST.
Philip Rittverg, 69, an IBM retiree who lives near Powers Ferry and Delk Roads, votes early to avoid crowds on Election Day.
He voted against TSPLOST, he said, because he doesn’t think the list of projects was specific enough.
“I want the politicians to be more responsive,” he said.
In the county chairman’s race featuring Republicans Mike Boyce, Bill Byrne and Larry Savage challenging incumbent Tim Lee, Rittverg said: “I voted for Larry Savage because I liked the depth of experience and wasn’t happy with a couple of the other candidates.”
No Democrats have entered that race, so the primary winner will likely be the one taking office in January. Runoffs will be Aug. 21 if no candidate gets the required 50 percent plus one vote on July 31, in that or any other multi-candidate election.
Next week, four more locations will be open for early voting, in addition to the main elections office at 736 Whitlock Ave. in Marietta. All five early-voting sites will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
They are: East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Rd.; South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Dr., Mableton; Northstar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road NW, Kennesaw; and the Boots Ward Recreation Center, Lost Mountain Park 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs 30127.
Voters need to bring photo identification. There is no voting on Monday, July 30.