Early voting today, next week for July 22 runoff

by Sarah Fay Campbell

If you’ve been waiting on a Saturday to cast your vote for the July 22 runoff, today’s the day.

The Coweta Voter Registration Office will be open today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for early voting.

Early voting continues next week, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and ends Friday, July 18. As of Thursday, there had been 462 early votes cast in Coweta.

Statewide, there had been 48,034 in-person early votes, and 18,628 paper ballots returned, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

If you plan on voting by paper absentee ballot and haven’t requested your ballot, time is running out. Officially, the voter registration office can send out ballots as late as Friday at 4 p.m. But it’s better to not wait until the last minute if you want your vote to be counted.

For paper ballots to count, they must be in the voter registration office by 7 p.m. on election day. Just being postmarked by July 22 doesn’t count – unless you are a member of the U.S. military serving overseas.

If you’re disabled or elderly, your ballot can be hand-delivered by a close relative. If you’re not, the ballot must arrive by mail or by your own hand.

To have a paper ballot mailed to you, you can mail or fax an absentee ballot application to the Coweta County Voter Registration Office. You can get an application at the voter registration office, or download one from the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.georgia.gov.

But you don’t need a pre-printed application, said Chief Registrar Joan Hamilton. Instead, you can just write “request for absentee ballot” on a sheet of paper and include your name, address, date of birth, mailing address and signature. You must also state whether you want a Republican or Democratic ballot.

Absentee ballot applications should be mailed to Coweta County Voter Registration, 22 East Broad Street, Newnan, GA 30263 or faxed to 770-683-2800.

There will be two races on the Republican primary – state school superintendent and U.S. Senate. Mike Buck and Richard Woods are vying for the Republican nomination for state school superintendent. And Jack Kingston and David Perdue are seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Saxby Chambliss.

There is only one race on the Democratic ballot. Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie D. Wilson are running for state school superintendent.

If you voted in the Republican primary, you can’t vote in the Democratic runoff, and vice versa. If you voted a non-partisan ballot only in the primary, or didn’t vote at all, you can choose to vote in either runoff – but not both.

For more information on early voting, contact the voter registration office at 770-254-2615.

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