Starting Friday, Columbia County voters can give an early Christmas present to their favorite presidential candidate.
Absentee voting begins Friday for the Feb. 5 Presidential Preference Primary.
By law, absentee voting must start 45 days before a major election, said Columbia County Board of Elections Registration Coordinator Nancy Gay.
"This is so people can basically tell the national parties who we, the voters of Georgia, want on the November ballot," she said.
To vote in person during the absentee period, candidates must go to the Board of Elections office at 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, in Evans between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, and Jan. 1.
Unlike early voting, which begins Jan. 28, voting during the absentee period requires a reason.
Allowable excuses for voting during the absentee period at the elections office are if someone will be out of his or her precinct during voting times, the voting date is a religious holiday, if he or she is a Board of Elections official, the voter has a physical disability, is 75 years old or older, is a caretaker for a disabled person, is a public servant required to be on duty that day, is on active military duty, or is overseas on election day.
However, no excuse is needed for those requesting mail-in absentee ballots, Gay said. To receive a mail-in ballot, a voter must submit a written request by mail or fax.
The deadline to register for the Feb. 5 primary is Jan. 7.
For more information, call the elections office at (706) 868-3355, or visit online at www.columbiacountyga.gov/home/index.asp?page=3355.
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