Early voting has started in the primary election, as those who have already made their minds up can hit the ballot touchscreens Monday through Friday up through May 16 at the county elections office in downtown Fayetteville, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Next week, early voting starts at the Peachtree City Library and at Tyrone Town Hall with the same days and hours: Monday through Friday up through May 16.
Elections Supervisor Tom Sawyer noted that voters may use any of the early voting locations regardless of where they live.
There will also be an opportunity to vote on Saturday, May 10 but only at the county elections office, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday voting is required by federal law whenever there are federal candidates on the ballot, Sawyer explained.
On election day May 20, residents will go to the very same precinct they have always been going to, even with the advent of district voting. That is the only day that polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The county elections office is continuing to get a number of calls from surprised residents who are unaware that the district voting process limits them to voting for just one member on the county commission and one member on the board of education, Sawyer said.
District voting restricts voters to casting a ballot for the seat representing the geographical precinct in which they live. Previously under at-large voting, all county voters could vote for all five seats on the board of education and the county commission.
Residents who are confused about which district they live in may call the elections office at 770-305-5408 and give their address to have the matter sorted out appropriately, Sawyer said.
To help remind voters of the district voting process, the county is in the process of mailing out roughly 85,000 precinct cards, one to each registered voter, with a red stamp reminding them they have been placed in a new school board and commission district, Sawyer said.
“We’re mailing them out as quickly as we can get a batch of them done,” Sawyer said, noting that the district voting switch has created a significant amount of work for the elections office.
That precinct card will not show which district the voter lives in, and if voters would like to find out their precinct after hours for example, they can go to mvp.sos.georgia.gov and download a sample ballot that will list which candidates they will be able to vote for, if any.
The local races on the ballot include the Post 3 and Post 5 seats on the Fayette County Commission and the Post 4 and Post 5 seats on the Fayette County Board of Education. Also, all state and federal legislative seats are up for grabs as well.
As for the first day of early voting at elections headquarters, some 77 voters got their civic duty out of the way, and around 200 absentee ballots came in, Sawyer said.