Early Voting Starts Today for Primary

Early voting gets underway this morning for the general primary election in Stephens County.

Stephens County Registrar Theresa Kelley said those wishing to vote early can do so downstairs in the Stephens County Government Building in downtown Toccoa.

“We are here from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,” said Kelley. “All you need to do is bring a picture ID. You also have to choose at this point in time, because of it being a primary, a ballot style you wish to vote on.”

Voters can either pick a Democratic ballot, a Republican ballot, or a non-partisan ballot.

Locally contested races such as those for Stephens County Commission, Stephens County Board of Education and 28th District State House are on the Republican ballot only as there are only Republican candidates running for those offices.

Early voting at the Government Building ends on Friday, May 16.

There will be a Saturday voting period on May 10 at the Government Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Besides early voting at the Government Building, Kelley said that voters can also still request a mail-in paper absentee ballot if they wish to vote that way.

“All you need to do is have your application and I will send you an absentee ballot,” said Kelley.

She said absentee ballots must be requested by 5 p.m. on May 16 and returned by 7 p.m. on May 20.

For more information on voting, contact the Stephens County Registrar’s Office at 706-886-8954, go to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office website at www.sos.ga.gov, or download the free “Georgia Votes” app for either Apple or Android phones.

Voters are casting ballots in a number of races.

On the Stephens County Commission, incumbent Michelle Grafton is facing Ralph Stowe for the Post One seat, incumbent Stanley London is running against Jonesy Haygood for the Post Four seat, and incumbent Dean Scarborough is facing Charles “Chuck” Wright” for the Post Five seat. On the Stephens County Board of Education, incumbent Steve Tilley will face Jim Bellamy for the District One, Post Two seat; incumbent Jeff Webb is running against Brenda Kelley for the District Two, Post Two seat; and incumbent David Fricks is facing off against Laura Biggers for the District Three, Post One seat. Moving to the 28th District State House race, incumbent Dan Gasaway is being challenged by Stacy Hall.

Whoever wins those county commission races, school board races, and State House race will be unopposed in November.

There is also a contested Republican primary between incumbent Doug Collins and challenger Bernard Fontaine in the 9th District U.S. House seat. The winner will face Democrat David Vogel in November.

Two area races do have candidates running completely unopposed as Republicans. Those are John Wilkinson for the 50th District State Senate seat and Rodney Moore, Jr. for the District Two, Post One seat on the Stephens County Board of Education.

There are also a number of contested state level primary races.