By Tia Lynn Ivey
Early voting kicked off on May 18 for the upcoming June 9 Presidential Preferred Primary, General Election and Non-Partisan races. According to Jennifer Doran, Morgan County’s election supervisor, over 520 voters have cast their ballots in person and a record number of absentee ballots have been requested and received. Over 3,900 absentee (mail) ballots have been requested and over 1,900 absentee ballots have been received by the Morgan County Board of Election and Registration.
“It’s pretty phenomenal,” said Doran. “Back in 2018, Stacy Abrams encouraged her supporters to use paper ballots, so we had a higher than usual number of absentee ballots for that election and that was only 450 absentee ballots. So we have never seen anything like this before. It’s incredible.”
The upcoming election is combining what was supposed to be three separate elections that were all postponed and consolidated for Tuesday, June 9. Morgan County voters will cast ballots for their preferred presidential nominee, as well as for primary races, such as U.S. Representative for the 10 District, State Senator, State Representative as well as local races for Morgan County Sheriff, County Commissioners, Tax Commissioner, Superior Court Judges and Board of Education members.
“It’s a huge election in terms of how many races are happening all during one election,” said Doran. “The ballots are massively long.”
The Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) is taking special precautions to protect voters during the coronavirus pandemic. All in-person early voting is taking place at the BOER, where voting machines are spread out, voters are reminded to social distance, and extra sanitation practices are being implemented.
“We have precautions in place,” said Doran. “We have hand sanitizer for voters and extra styluses to sign with so that voters never have to touch the voting machines. When they are done, they hand them in, we sanitize them and return the clean ones to be used by the next voters.”
Early voting will continue until June 5 at the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration office, located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The BOER will have Saturday voting on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Tuesday June 9, voters will only be allowed to cast votes at their assigned precinct from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No voting will be available at the BOER office after early voting ends on June 5.