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Early voting for city council election ends Friday

    There are three more days left of early voting for the Statesboro city council election as citizens prepare to elect two council members and a mayor to new four-year terms.
    According to Deputy Registrar Shontay Jones, 231 citizens have cast their vote during the first 2  weeks of early voting, which started Oct. 12. This included voters that cast ballots in the office as well as completed absentee ballots received by the registrar's office.
    So far, District 4 has seen the most action, with 161 people voting early or submitting absentee ballots. District 1 was a distant second with 48 votes already in. District 5 has 10 ballots cast, while District 2 has seven and District 3 has five.
    The voter registration office at the Bulloch County Courthouse will be open for early voting through Oct. 30, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. In the final week, the office remains open throughout the lunch hour.
    Jones said voter registration was relatively slow this year compared to the last city election, where a contentious 2007 council race saw nearly 2,500 new voters added to the rolls. Since Aug. 1 of this year, 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.
    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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