Lowndes volunteers bring out the voters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes volunteers bring out the voters

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

October 7, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - In Lowndes County, early voters are turning out in record numbers.

Election officials say the presidential election has energized voters.

But they also credit volunteers who worked hard to inspire voters to get to the polls and others to register for the first time.

George Rhynes is a man on a mission.

"I've done calls, done some phone banking, I've done PSA's, I've been on the corner and knocked on doors," Rhynes says.

He's one of many volunteers registering new voters and encouraging voters to get out to the polls.

"A 79 year-old lady said she's never voted before and she wants to vote in this election. Also, a blind man got my interest.  He's been trying to find someone to take him down and register," he adds.

Their efforts seem to be paying off. The board of elections has never been so busy.

"Overwhelmed doesn't even touch it. Parking lot is full, streets were congested, the building was filled to maximum capacity," says Deb Cox, Lowndes County Board of Elections Supervisor.

In the past two weeks, over 4000 people have registered to vote. Nearly 5000 have voted early.

"We went over 4700 Tuesday morning.  I'm not sure how far over but we expect quite a large turnout. 20,000 or more by the end of advanced voting," Cox says.

Voters from all walks of life.

"Every age, both sexes, every race. It didn't make a difference. Everyone was coming in," Cox says.

But volunteers say there's still a lot to do.

"We have to call to make sure the people who registered actually go to the polls. We are also going to canvas more areas," Rhynes says.

To assure every voters voice will be heard.

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