Candidates for local, state and federal office can begin racking up votes Monday as absentee balloting begins statewide.
Deborah Marshall, Columbia County's director of elections, said her office will be prepared for voters to complete applications and cast their absentee ballots. Applications to vote absentee can be obtained in person at the Board of Elections office on the first floor of Building B in the Evans Government Center, or online at www. columbiacountyga.gov.
Voters can deliver their applications in person, by mail or by fax, Marshall said. Voters who apply for an absentee ballot in person are required to provide a reason for their request.
Acceptable reasons to request an absentee ballot include an absence from your precinct on the day of the Nov. 7 election, a physical disability, service as a caretaker for the disabled, service as an election worker, observance of a religious holiday that falls on Election Day, service for the protection of health and welfare of the community, and military service.
Residents older than 75 may also vote absentee, and no excuse is required for mailed or faxed applications.
Marshall said it is difficult to gauge the number of absentee requests, but because this is a year with many state races, including governor, lieutenant governor and secretaries of state and labor, turnout should be good. Locally, the school board chairman and county commission District 1 races are still contested.
Absentee ballots must be hand delivered by the voter as late as 5 p.m. Nov. 6 or received by mail at the Evans Post Office by 5 p.m. Nov. 7. Voter registration for the Nov. 7 general election ends Oct. 10. For more information, call the Board of Elections at (706) 868-3355.
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