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Early voting for Statesboro city elections begins Monday
City Clerk Judy McCorkle, left, familiarizes a group of Statesboro High School students who will be serving as poll workers in the upcoming elections with the voting process.
    Early voting for the Statesboro city elections starts Monday and city officials said they are ready to go. The poll workers have been trained, the voting machines have been tested and voter rolls are in.
    Judy McCorkle, superintendent of elections for Statesboro, said everything is set up for early voting to begin.
    "It's the week immediately prior to the election - from Monday, October 28 to Friday, November 2 - during normal business hours at City Hall - from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.," said McCorkle.
    Proper identification is required in order to vote.
    "You have to have a picture ID - that is a requirement of state law right now," she said. "There are six forms of IDs that they can use."
    Proper identification 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.
    McCorkle described the process a voter goes through when they show up to city hall.
    "Early voting is like absentee voting," she said. "A voter comes in and there'll be a table in the middle of the lobby where they’ll fill out an application for an absentee voting. Then they'll show their IDs and the poll worker will check their name on the list. If everything checks out, they'll give them the ballot, then they'll go vote and be done."
“If the line is long we will have people with clip boards full of absentee forms so we can pass them to people in line to help things go smoother,” she added.
    There are five computer voting stations and two stations for provisional or challenged ballots. A voter receives a provisional ballot if they show up to vote without proper identification. They will be given a scantron ballot, which will be counted if the voter brings the proper identification to the county registrar’s office within two days of the election. Individuals with their residency challenged also will be given a scantron ballot. Whether or not the ballot is counted will depend upon the outcome of the residency hearing in front of the board of registrars.
    A group calling themselves Statesboro Citizens for Good Government filed petitions last Monday with the Bulloch County Registrar’s Office to challenge the residency of some of the newly registered voters. It was originally reported that around 840 challenges were filed, but the current count stands at 909. The county attorney and board of registrars are still trying to determine the best course of action to make sure everyone who wants a hearing has the opportunity to be heard.
    McCorkle is prepared for a big early voter turnout.
    "We're going to accommodate people the best we can," said McCorkle. "We're going to follow the state guidelines and we're going to provide the best customer service we can. Our poll workers are well trained and ready to go. Next week should be an interesting week."
    Thurman Bradley, Brett Schofill, Chelsea Prince, Kittrella Mikells, Meredith Hein and Kyle LeCain, high school seniors from Statesboro High school, completed the poll worker training and will work during the elections. Two Georgia Southern Students - Khadeeja Walker, Reggie Johnson, a finance intern at the city – will work as well. Representatives from GSU’s Student Government Association were also supposed to participate, but they did not show up for poll worker training.
    For more details on the election process, see city advertisements in the Herald that are running today and next Sunday.

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