Chatham County Board of Elections weigh in on long voter lines and wait times
Chatham County saw a record number of voters for this year’s midterm eelections. A whopping 54.3 percent with more than 101,740 ballots cast; that’s up from 40.45 percent in the November 2014 midterms.
“We had a turnout that was about twice as heavy as a typical midterm election,” said Chatham County Board of Elections Chairman Tom Mahoney.
Pooler precincts saw voters waiting more than three hours to cast their vote.
"We were well prepared for a big turnout for a midterm election. We were not prepared for a presidential turnout,” said Mahoney.
He said there was really no barometer to gauge the unexpected turnout.
“We could put out more machines possibly as time goes on, but it’s harder to get more people. In fact, that is the biggest challenge; we have, we need more volunteers, more poll workers,” he said.
He said he doesn’t see the voter turnout this midterm as a trend.
“I was told this is the new norm that you expect 50-60 percent of the voters to turn out. Well, I have been through a lot of elections there have been 17 percent turnout, so I’m not convinced yet that this is the new norm,” he said.
He and his staff will be re-evaluating upcoming election coverage. “We are going to look at it of course, but as far as lessons learned, we will have to see what those are yet.”
This is voter turnout for other surrounding counties:
- Voter Turnout: 54.03% (Nov. 4, 2014--40.45%)
- Ballots Cast: 101,740
- Registered Voters: 188,315
- Voter Turnout: 61.42% (Nov. 4, 2014--38.39%)
- Ballots Cast: 23,419
- Registered Voters: 38,132
- Voter Turnout: 58.32% (Nov. 4, 2014--36.01%)
- Ballots Cast: 14,996
- Registered Voters: 25,712
- Voter Turnout: 59.03% (Nov. 4, 2014--35.96%)
- Ballots Cast: 23,602
- Registered Voters: 39,983
- Voter Turnout: 49.56% (Nov. 4, 2014--29.51%)
- Ballots Cast: 15,390
- Registered Voters: 31,051
- Voter Turnout: 63.20% (Nov. 4, 2014--42.81%)
- Ballots Cast: 5,431
- Registered Voters: 8.594