Early voting for the June 9 elections got underway in Jackson County this week. Early voting is being held at the Gordon Street Center in Jefferson.
On Monday, around 223 people voted in-person in the gym at Gordon Street. Jackson County elections director Jennifer Logan said some people were surrendering their absentee ballots to vote in-person.
The county processed over 11,000 absentee requests and so far, has received 3,700 returned absentee ballots. County officials have promoted absentee voting as a way to help contain the COVID virus from spreading in the community.
In-person early voting will run May 18-22, May 26-29 and June 1-5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday voting will be held on May 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Final election day will be June 9.
The voting is for the presidential preference primaries and also for local, state and federal candidates.
If you voted earlier in the presidential preference primary, you will have a different ballot than those who did not vote earlier in that primary.
Meanwhile, the county has installed a drop-box outside its office in Jefferson for those voting absentee to drop off their completed ballot.
Due to the possibility of spreading the virus, the county has taken a number of steps to keep voting as safe as possible.
"We have it (in-person voting) in the gym to spread voters out more and have tape to space on the floors," said Logan. "We have cleaners for the equipment and hand sanitizers available for voters. They are cleaning machines and cards and other items the voters are using. We have gloves available for voters that wish to have them."
Logan said that poll workers have to wear masks and have face shields and gloves available as well.
She said that the best thing is for voters to cast their ballot absentee and not vote in-person.
"To keep voters and poll workers safe, the best thing voters can do is vote by mail and use the drop box located outside the office, or bring the ballot to our office," she said. "It is a paper ballot either way, the only difference between the ballot is they scan it at the polls when they vote, or I scan the ballot on election day."
Locally, there are a number of contested state and county races on the Republican ballot where most local candidates qualified.
Among the key races for June 9 are: Nine GOP candidates vying for the 9th Congressional District to replace Rep. Doug Collins; six candidates running for the Republican nomination for the 50th District in the Georgia State Senate; and contested county races for Sheriff, Tax Commissioner, Coroner, and Solicitor of the State Court are also on the ballot.
There are also two contested races for state Supreme Court Justices on the non-partisan ballot.