Early voting in Georgia for the June 9 General Primary and Presidential Primary elections continues for two more weeks, until Friday, June 5.
The election had originally been re-scheduled for May 19, but the date was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, explained Shea Hicks, chairperson of the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office.
Hicks said 366 Gordon County residents had cast their ballots in person by closing time Thursday. She said her office issued 6,586 absentee ballots.
“We have had a really good turnout for early voting for the past four days,” said Hicks. “We would like to remind voters to review a sample ballot before they come in to vote.”
Voters can review a ballot at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Precautions are in place at the local elections office. The floor is marked with bright orange tape indicating where people should stand to practice social distancing. Additionally, plastic screens are hung between election clerks and voters, who are then assigned to alternating booths in order to avoid contact with other voters.
To cast an early ballot, voters should go to the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office, which is now located in the Gordon County Annex Building. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. There will be one day of Saturday voting on May 30, in the elections office, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Hicks said absentee ballots are still being accepted as well. Those ballots must be received by the local elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, June 9. Officials suggest allowing five days for ballots that are to be mailed, but ballot may also be dropped off at the local office in a drop box left of the front doors.
Additionally, state law allows family members, individuals in the same household, and caretakers for those with disabilities to drop off ballots for voters.
Those who have requested and received an absentee ballot are encouraged to vote with that ballot. There are procedures to cancel such a ballot, but those procedures are time consuming.
Those who requested but have not received an absentee can cancel their request in writing at the local office. Additionally, a blank, unvoted absentee ballot can be turned in to the poll manager for those who have received an absentee ballot but would rather vote in person.
Only four of the 13 local races on the ballot are contested. Additionally, all four of the races feature only Republican candidates, meaning the primary winner will win the seat by default.
Three Republicans — Christie Owens Fox, Samuel Terrill Jewell and Bryson Reeves — are running for the Gordon County Board of Education Post 6 seat. That position is currently held by Chris Johnson, but he did not seek reelection.
Meanwhile, Republican Rod Breham is challenging incumbent Bobby E. Hall for the Gordon County Board of Education Post 4 seat.
The election for the Gordon County Board of Commissioners District 3 seat is another three-way race, with Republicans Robert “Rob” Ballard and Ronald Bruce Potts Jr. both challenging Republican incumbent Norris Sexton.
Lastly, Republican Ken Padgett is challenging Republican incumbent James Carver for coroner.
The following incumbents will be on the ballot without opposition:
♦ Tax commissioner — Republican Scott Clements
♦ Sheriff — Republican Mitch Ralston
♦ Clerk of Superior Court — Republican Grant Walraven
♦ Judge of Probate Court — Nonpartisan John R. “Richie” Parker
♦ Judge of Magistrate Court — Republican James Pat Rasbury
♦ County Commission District 1 — Republican M.L. “Bud” Owens
♦ County Commission District 5 — Republican Kevin L. Cunningham
♦ Board of Education Post 2 — Republican Jason Hendrix
All county offices will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25.
Anyone with questions may call the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office at 706 629-7781.