Advance voting begins next Monday with extended hours

Published 5:17 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

By Carol Heard

Special to The Post-Searchlight
Monday, Oct. 17, is the beginning of advance voting for the General Election on Nov. 8.

The Decatur County Board of Elections and Voter Registration extended the hours in order to make them more consistent and to better accommodate the anticipated increase in voter turnout.

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The hours for advance voting are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, Monday through Friday from Oct. 17 through Nov. 4, including Saturday, Oct. 29. The Board of Elections essentially added an hour to each weekday of voting and three hours on the Saturday of voting.

The advance voting locations are the Fairgrounds located at 1211 Vada Road, which has more voting machines and more personnel that may lead to faster service; and, the Elections Office at the Courthouse Annex located at 122 W. Water St.

Advance voting will end on Friday, Nov. 4. This will also be the last day the Elections Office can mail advance mail-in ballots. There is no voting on Monday, Nov. 7.

The deadline for mail-in absentee ballots is 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voters mailing their ballots need to account for the deadline when trying to get their ballots back in time to be counted.

In the last two presidential elections, Decatur County’s voter turnout has been about 75 percent. As of Thursday, the county had 17,318 active and inactive voters.

For turnout purposes, active voters account for 13,759 voters, and if history holds true for this election, expected turnout could be 10,319 citizens voting.

Furthermore, in the 2012 Presidential General Election, the majority of Decatur County voters voted in advance, 5,369; versus, 4,486 who went to their precincts on Election Day and 613 who voted by mail-in absentee ballot.

For example, for the 2014 non-presidential General Election, turnout was 46.26 percent, or 6,223 voters. Also, 3,821 voters cast their ballots on Election Day as opposed to 1,976 voting in advance and 268 by advance mail-in.

The General Election, which of course includes the presidential election, also includes other contests such as U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, various contested local elections and four proposed state constitutional amendments.

To check on information concerning your registration, you can go to Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page, which if you are registered to vote allows you to view a sample ballot, request an absentee mail-in ballot and locate your voting precinct in order to vote on Election Day. The web address is

Sample ballots with detailed information on the constitution amendments are available at the Board of Elections and Registration office located at 122 W. Water St., or you can visit the Decatur County Board of Elections facebook page and its webpage, which can be found by going to the Decatur County Board of Commissioners and going to the Elections Office page.