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Early voting starts strong

Staff Written Front Page, News

More than 600 vote on first day

By Tia Lynn Ivey

Managing Editor 

Morgan County voters are headed to the polls once again to cast their ballots for two high-profile senate seat races that will determine the fate of the U.S. Senate. The races will decide on which party controls the U.S. Senate, prompting national media spotlight to glare upon Georgia as prominent politicians, both Democrat and Republican, flock to the Peach State to campaign for their party’s candidates.

The run-off election is between Republican Incumbent Senator David Perdue and Democratic Challenger Jon Ossoff and Republican Incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic Challenger Reverend Raphael Warnock. 

None of the candidates received 50 percent of the vote during the 2020 General Election in November, which automatically triggered a run-off election between the top two candidates this January 5, 2021. But early voting began last Monday on Nov. 14. 

President Donald Trump traveled to Georgia earlier this month to hold a rally ly for Loeffler and Perdue. President-Elect Joe Biden campaigned for Ossoff and Warnock on Tuesday, Dec. 15. 

According to Elections Director Jennifer Doran, run-off elections do not usually yield high voter turnout, but this is no usual run-off election. 

“Generally, we expect a 20 to 30 percent turnout in runoffs,” said Doran. “However, with the early votes so far, I expect a larger turnout than usual.”

In Morgan County, 628 voters cast ballots on the first day of early voting on Monday, Dec. 14, almost rivaling the first day of early voting for the 2020 General Election, when 704 people in Morgan County showed up for the first day of early voting on Monday, Oct. 12. 

On the second day of early voting, 114 voters cast ballots just within the first two hours of the polls opening on Tuesday, Dec. 15. As of press time on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the total turnout for the second day of early voting was not yet complete. 

Early voting in Morgan County will be available through Thursday, Dec. 31. There will be no early voting on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, Christmas Day, Dec. 25 or New Years Day, January 1.

All early voting must be done at the Morgan County Board of Elections Office located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison. Voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Election Day, January 5, all in-person voters must vote at their assigned polling precincts. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to Doran, Thursday, Dec. 31 is the deadline to order an absentee ballot. 

“Although,  I would not suggest waiting that long,” urged Doran.  “There is a chance that the voter would not receive and be able to return the ballot before 7 p.m. on election day, January 5, 2021.”

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