For Statesboro residents who plan to vote in both the mayoral election and the Bulloch County ESPLOST referendum, advanced voting is the simpler option.
For some residents, voting in both elections on Election Day, Nov. 7, will require voting in two different precincts, notes Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones. But for early voting, which will continue Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. until Nov. 3, there is only one location for both elections, the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Registration office area of the county annex, 113 North Main St., Suite 201.
Even there, two separate ballots are required, whether for in-person voting on the touch-screen machines or by mailed absentee ballots.
In the first five days of early voting, 235 people cast in-person ballots in the city’s mayoral election, while 335 people voted in-person in the county Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum, Jones reported at the close of business Friday. The participation counts overlap, representing many of the same voters, since Statesboro residents can vote in both elections.
Meanwhile, 18 people had returned paper absentee ballots in the city election, and 38 had done so in the county election. The paper ballots are mailed out after the voter completes an application.
Election Day voting
On Nov. 7, there will be just two voting places in Statesboro’s city election, where the three-candidate mayoral race is the only thing on the ballot. Residents of City Council Districts 1 and 2 vote at Statesboro I Precinct, which is the William James Educational Complex at 150 Williams Road. Meanwhile, residents of council Districts 3, 4 and 5 must vote at the Statesboro II Precinct, which is the Pittman Park United Methodist Church at 1102 Fair Road.
But county precincts are different, so Statesboro residents who vote in the Bulloch County ESPLOST referendum will need to go to the voting places where they vote in elections of county and state officials. For Statesboro residents, there are four of these: the Statesboro Precinct, in the William James Complex at 150 Williams Road; the Fair Precinct, inside the Kiwanis Fair Grounds, 16942 Highway 67 South; the Church Precinct at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, 4 South Zetterower Ave.; and Pittman Park Precinct, at Pittman Park United Methodist Church, 1102 Fair Road.
“This is the reason we are encouraging early voting, especially for the voters who reside in the city, so that we can process them through the line for both elections at the same time,” Jones said in an email. “If they wait to Election Day, they will have two separate lines and good possibility of two locations.”
Of course, Bulloch County residents outside of Statesboro will vote only in the county referendum and can do so at their assigned precincts across the county.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.