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Advance voting in progress for city council

Registrar’s office open for voting through Oct. 30

    Early voting for the Statesboro city council election is under way as citizens prepare to select two council members and a mayor for new four-year terms.
    According to Chief Registrar Reginald Beasley, 44 citizens already cast their vote during early voting's first three days. Early voting started on Monday.
    For those interested in casting their vote before Election Day, the voter registration office at the Bulloch County Courthouse will be open from 8:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m., every weekday from now until Oct. 30. Today and tomorrow the office will close for lunch from 12:30-1:30p.m., but will be remain open for the final two weeks, starting Monday.
    Deputy Registrar Shontay Jones said voter registration was relatively slow this year compared to the last city council election. Since Aug. 1, the rolls for Statesboro rose by only 150 people —from 14,355 to 14,505 registered voters. Jones said she also entered approximately 50 more applications after her last report was run by the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
    A contentious city council race in 2007 was responsible for attracting hundreds of new voter applications. During the last city election's voter registration period, nearly 2,500 new applications were filed with the Registrar's office between Aug. 1 and Oct. 3 of that year.
    Early voting is similar to absentee voting. A voter comes into the registrar's office and fills out an absentee application. The registrar then verifies their ID and makes sure the individual is registered to vote in Bulloch. If everything checks out, the voter is given a computer card, which is inserted into one of four touch screen voting machines currently in the registrars' office. After completing the electronic ballot, the card is returned to the registrar. Unless there is a line, the entire process takes less than 10 minutes.
    Proper identification for voting or registering to vote consists of one of the following: a valid Georgia driver's license, any valid state or U.S. issued employee identification card with a photo of the elector, a valid U.S. passport, a valid voter identification card, a valid U.S. military identification card or a valid tribal identification card. A voter registration card is not sufficient identification to vote.
    More information can be found at www.sos.state.ga.us.
    Phil Boyum may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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