Early primary voting begins Monday

  • Voters can drop their absentee ballots into this receptacle located in front of the government building on Alexander Street.
    Voters can drop their absentee ballots into this receptacle located in front of the government building on Alexander Street.

    The early voting period for the June 9 primary races will begin Monday, May 18.
    Stephens County Chief Registrar Eureka Gober said voting machines are ready to go for in-person voting upstairs in the historic courthouse in downtown Toccoa.
    Measures for public safety due to the coronavirus also are in place.
    "We're not going to let but about 10 people come in at a time upstairs," Gober said.
    Residents planning to vote must enter through a side door by the elevators on the Tugalo Street side of the building, Gober said.
    Registered voters must choose the democratic or republican ballot to vote upon.
    All local races will be decided this year on the Republican ballot as no one qualified as a Democrat.
    The only local race that is contested is for county sheriff where incumbent sheriff Randy Shirley faces former sheriff's office investigator Rusty Fulbright.
    Also on the Republican primary ballot is the race for state Sen. John Wilkinson's 50th District seat.
    Six people are campaigning in the Republican primary for Wilkinson's seat.
    They are Andy Garrison, Dan Gasaway, Stacy Hall, Bo Hatchett, Tricia Lynne Hise, and Lee Moore.
    Also on the Republican primary ballot is the race for Doug Collins' 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    Nine people are vying for Collins' seat.
    They are Michael Boggus, Paul Broun, Andrew Clyde, Matt Gurtler, and Marie Strickland, Kevin Tanner, Ethan Underwood, Kellie Weeks and John Wilkinson.
    The election for former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson's seat between challengers including Collins and Kelly Loeffler is scheduled to be conducted later this year in a special election.
    Those who choose to vote on the Democratic primary ballot will be able to choose between candidates running for President of the U.S. where former vice president Joe Biden has taken a strong lead toward the nomination after winning primaries in other states.
    The Democrat ballot also includes a choice between seven candidates, one of which will challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in November's general election.
    They are Sarah Riggs Amico, Marckeith DeJesus, James Knox, Tricia Carpenter McCracken, Jon Ossoff, Maya Dillard Smith, and Teresa Pike Tomlinson.
    The candidates seeking the Democratic Party primary nod for 9th District Congress are Devin Pandy, Brooke Siskin, and Dan Wilson.
    Dee Dailey is the lone Democrat who qualified to run for Wilkinson's state senate seat.
    In November, Daley will face the winner of the six republicans who are campaigning for Wilkinson's state senate seat.
    Each ballot also includes a number of questions.
    Sample ballots are available for viewing online at the Georgia Secretary of State's site (sos.ga.gov) My Voter Page.
    The secretary of state's office (sos) reported Friday that 2020 is unprecedented in the number of people who will be voting by absentee.
    "Georgia election officials, working with Dominion Voting and Runbeck Election Services, have sent more than 1 million absentee ballots to Georgia voters for the June 9 primary election," the sos reported.
    That's compared to some 40,000 in the state in previous primary elections.
    Gober said that Stephens County also has seen a rise in its absentee ballots.
    Gober said that a drop box to submit absentee ballots, in addition to mailing them in, was installed Friday at the Stephens County Government Building.
    As of Tuesday, 13 absentee ballots had been submitted in the drop box, Gober said many more had been received by mail.
    The early voting period is from May 18 to June 5, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
    Also, one Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. also is available for early voting.
    The primary election is on Tuesday, June 9, with polls set up at the senior center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.