Bulloch County voters have several options when it comes to casting votes in the upcoming elections, but if you aren't yet registered, Monday is the last day to do so.
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, the Bulloch County general election takes place, as well as the city of Statesboro's special election. To avoid long lines on Election Day, residents have several options for early voting, said Pat Lanier Jones, Bulloch County's election supervisor.
By using the early voting option, many city of Statesboro residents may avoid having to vote in two different locations if they are voting in both elections. Some will have to vote in the county election at one place while voting in the city election at another, because of differences in precinct lines, but early voting options combine the two elections to one location, she said.
At the Bulloch County Courthouse, early voting will be held Monday through Friday, between Oct. 13 and 31, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting at the Honey Bowen Building on Max Lockwood Drive is Oct. 27-31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Those who wish to vote on a Saturday may do so Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at either the Honey Bowen Building or Bulloch County Courthouse. Another option for any registered Bulloch county voter is at the Russell Union on Georgia Southern University's campus Oct. 21-23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Residents who want to vote by absentee ballot may find applications at www.sos.ga.gov or by contacting the Bulloch County Board of Elections at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Applications may be emailed, faxed, mailed or brought back to the elections office, and ballots will be mailed to the address given by applicants, Jones said. The elections office fax number is (912) 764-8167.
Absentee ballots may be applied for up until Oct. 31.
Voters who do not choose the early voting option may still vote at the precinct in which they are registered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 4, she said.
You can check your voter registration status at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. If you're not registered, Georgians with a valid Georgia driver's license can go online and register at https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/.
The "GA Votes" mobile app also allows Georgians to register to vote. Using the MVP feature on the app, Georgia voters can view their specific sample ballot, find their polling locations, check voter registration status and track the status of their absentee ballot. All of this information is available on mobile devices on Apple and Android platforms. To find the app search for "GA Votes" in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
General election races include:
- U.S. Senate - Republican David Perdue, Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford;
- Governor - Incumbent Republican Nathan Deal, Democrat Jason Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt;
- U.S. Representative in the 12th Congressional District - Republican Rick Allen and incumbent Democrat John Barrow;
- Georgia Insurance Commissioner - Incumbent Republican Ralph T. Hudgens, Democrat Elizabeth "Liz" Johnson of Bulloch County and Libertarian Edward T. "Ted" Metz; and
- Georgia Agriculture Commissioner - Incumbent Republican Gary Black and Democrat Christopher James Irvin.
Also, Statesboro residents will be able to vote in the special city election regarding the Redevelopment Powers Law, which is targeted at encouraging development in the blighted portions of South Main Street and other areas.
The Redevelopment Powers Law enables local governments, with a one-time voter approval, to designate blighted or underdeveloped areas as tax allocation districts. This neither creates a tax nor increases rates, but any growth in property tax revenue from new buildings and rising real estate values in a TAD must be spent on improvements benefitting the district. The law also empowers local governments to issue bonds for redevelopment projects to be repaid with the growth revenues.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.