Election officials anticipate record breaking numbers from Russell Union early voting

Eden Hodges, Election 2020 Correspondent

STATESBORO — Several first-time and loads of veteran voters cast their ballots as the Russell Union ballroom was opened for early voting this week. 

As voter turnout for the 2020 election is expected to soar past previous records, Georgia Southern transformed the ballroom into a polling station to accommodate early-voting students and Bulloch County voters.

“I anticipate to break some numbers,” said Patricia Jones, election supervisor.

Although Jones and her crew saw record-breaking numbers of voters come through the ballroom from Tuesday to Thursday, the lines remained short and only took up five to 10 minutes of voters’ time to cast their ballots.

“People off the streets are coming in because the wait is not as long,” said Jones.

This efficiency can be partly blamed on the excess of poll workers, many of whom were put on a waiting list.

Russell Union saw a number of first-time voters as well, each of which received a round of applause as they were handed their Georgia voter stickers.

Eden Hodges

“It was a little weird being that it was my first time, but it went smoothly,” said first-time voter Felton Thomas. 

Thomas added the directions were easy to follow and was eager to cast his ballot to make room for change. 

“If I just do nothing and watch the world go to waste then I’m not really helping out,” said Thomas. 

This election, voting seems more important than ever for students, as many students begin to view casting ballots as their duty or responsibility.

“I feel like my ancestors fought for my right to vote so I’m always going to go out and do my part and acknowledge their fight,” said student Albani Berryhill.

Berryhill casted her ballot along with some of her friends having a very positive experience. “If you don’t vote and you can vote, you can’t complain about the outcome,” said Berryhill.