Early Voting Starts Oct. 15

With the November presidential election fast approaching, some states around the nation have already started their advance voting periods.

However, Georgia is not one of them.

Stephens County Registrar Theresa Kelley said that her office has received numerous calls about when early voting starts in Georgia.

According to Kelley, early voting in Stephens County and across Georgia does not start for a couple of weeks.

“We will start on October 15, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. here at the (Registrar’s) Office,” said Kelley. “We will be here through lunch. It is Monday through Friday. There will be a Saturday voting (day) during the early voting period on October 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the (Stephens County) Government Building.”

Kelley said that Georgia used to start early voting sooner, but a recent change in state law shortened the early voting period, while adding the Saturday voting period for elections with state or federal candidates on the ballot.

Kelley said that while in-person early voting does not start until October 15, those who wish to request a mail-in absentee ballot can do so now by contacting her office.

Mail-in absentee ballot requests must be submitted to the Stephens County Registrar’s Office by Friday, November 2. November 2 will also be the last day for in-person early voting at the Government Building prior to the November 6 election.

Kelley also said those who are eligible to vote but not yet registered that time is running out in order to register to vote for this November’s election.

“It is going to be October 9, which is a week away,” said Kelley. “If you are not registered and you want to vote in this election, then you need to be registered by that date. If you are not registered by the date, you will not be able to vote in the November election.”

To obtain a voter registration form or request a mail-in absentee ballot, contact the Stephens County Registrar’s Office. It is located in the ground floor of the Stephens County Government Building in downtown Toccoa. The phone number for the Registrar’s Office is 706-886-8954.

Voting information can also be found online at the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.ga.gov.

Besides the presidential race, Stephens County voters will cast ballots in two local and regional races of note. One of those is the 9th Congressional District race between Doug Collins and Jody Cooley. The other is the race for District 3, Post 2 on the Stephens County Board of Education between Curtis Waters and Jim Ledford.