COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With just hours left before the polls close in Georgia, voters in Columbus and other parts of the Chattahoochee Valley carved out a bit of time on this election day to cast their vote in several key local and statewide races.
Over 7,000 men and women in Columbus voted in advance of May 22. Thousands more arrived at their designated voting precinct in places like the United Methodist Church on Wynnton Road.
Voters like Andre James said this year's races, from mayor to city council and school board, have been on the minds of many in Muscogee County.
"The conversation has been more engaged," James said. "I think we just need to have proper people in place to make the proper decisions."
Voters like Mary Lou Cantrell said these elections are about the issues she supports, and how candidates in local and state campaigns will contribute to solutions.
"I think our school board has a long way to go," she said. "Education, the way we treat teachers... there's a lot of wasted money out there," Cantrell said, "so I would like to see a lot of change there."
Whether or not there is change, James and Cantrell said nothing would happen if they did not exercise their constitutional right.
"If I did not cast my ballot, then I would not be part of the solution," James said. "There'd be nothing for me to complain about."
"I think that by not exercising that right, you are losing a really important part of being an American," Cantrell said.