Advance voting has robust start

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If early voting and absentee ballots are any indication, Camden County is on track to have a record-breaking election cycle. 

In-person early voting locations opened in two locations on Tuesday and there were lines out of the door at both for most of the day. 

“Kingsland saw 750 voters, some waiting two hours to vote. Woodbine had 365 voters,” said Shannon Nettles, local election supervisor. “Together, these 1,115 voters showing up today was more than all the early voters who showed up to vote in the June primary. Advance voting was 954 back then, during the height of COVID. I thought that was interesting.”

At last count, the Board of Elections office had sent out more than 6,200 absentee ballots and had received more than 2,500 completed ballots back in the mail. Those numbers grow each day. 

Nettles said it is going to be a busy three weeks of early voting, but that is why they planned and trained for months leading up to October. 

“I love to see this kind of turnout in Camden County,” she added. 

Among the things Nettles wanted the public to know about voting:   

• Absentee ballots may be completed, signed and returned to either the Camden County Annex or to our Woodbine election office.

“We have found this to be extremely helpful to voters who might be nervous of putting their completed ballot in the mail,” Nettles said. “This can be done until 7 p.m. on Election Night, even at the Kingsland location.”

• Should a voter want to vote in person and not use the absentee ballot he requested, he can still do so by presenting that ballot to a poll worker when he goes to vote. The voter will relinquish the ballot and sign an affidavit stating such. Even if a voter has destroyed the requested absentee ballot and no longer has it in his possession, he will not be denied the right to vote during advance voting or on Election Day. Again though, the voter will have to complete an affidavit stating they have not already voted on the absentee ballot they requested and check the correct box indicating what happened to the ballot.

• No campaigning in the polling places during early voting or on Election Day within 150 feet of the building where the election is occurring in. No hats, shirts, bumper stickers, no buttons, socks, etc. that represent a candidate on the ballot. For example, paraphernalia with political slogans cannot be worn into the polls when you vote.

• Voters are encouraged to wear masks or face shields into the polling places and remember to social distance. PPE will be available for voters should they forget theirs or need additional items. Government buildings, including the Camden County Annex and the Woodbine voting office, will require masks be worn inside the building. Voting equipment will be sanitized throughout the course of the day.

For more information, call the Camden County Board of Elections at (912) 576-3245.