After the first week of early voting, 429 Bulloch County residents had cast their ballots in person for the Aug. 11 runoff election, and more than 1,500 absentee ballots have been returned.
Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Pat Lanier Jones said voting that started July 20 will be available in the County Annex building only, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Unlike early voting before the June 9 primary, there will be no Saturday set aside for early voting in the Aug. 11 runoff.
“We expected the first week to be a little slow, but yes I am surprised that we voted only 429 in person,” Jones said. “With the mass absentee mailing that the state done earlier this year, it generated our increase in absentee ballots.”
While voters are required to stand at least 6 feet apart, and all are encouraged to wear masks and gloves, they are not required, Jones said.
In Bulloch County, two races — for the District 4 state Senate seat and for county solicitor-general — will appear on the Republican ballot.
Meanwhile, nonpartisan ballots will include just one runoff involving the entire county — a largely symbolic one between the same two state Senate candidates — and a runoff in only a portion of the county for a Board of Education seat.
There are no statewide runoffs, and no actual Democratic Party runoffs, although Democrats can vote in the nonpartisan races.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Aug. 7, and they must be returned by the time polls close on Aug. 11.
So far, Jones said her office has received 3,530 absentee ballot requests, and 1,585 have been returned to the elections office.
An absentee ballot application can be found on the statewide My Voter Page, www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. A filled out application may be emailed, faxed, mailed or brought in-person to the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Registration, 113 N. Main St., Suite 201, Statesboro, GA 30458.
One of the contests on the Republican ballot will be the runoff between Dr. Scott Bohlke and Billy Hickman, CPA, to represent District 4 in the Georgia Senate for the 2021–22 term. The other race for Republican voters throughout the county is the runoff between Catherine Sumner Findley and Mark A. Lanier to become solicitor-general of the Bulloch County State Court.
Bohlke and Hickman also appear as candidates for the state Senate seat on the nonpartisan ballot, which is a runoff to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Jack Hill’s term, through this December, and the Legislature has now adjourned for the year.
Also nonpartisan, the only Board of Education race requiring a runoff is between incumbent Heather Mims and challenger Lisa Deloach in BOE District 7, which makes up about one-eighth of Bulloch County by population.