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Advanced voting “really, really low” for presidential primaries

Cast advanced ballots this Saturday

Georgia voters will see a rare chance to cast ballots this Saturday as election laws now require advanced voting locations to be open at least one Saturday when federal races are on the ballot.

The only races Pickens voters will see are the presidential primaries for both parties. Saturday is part of advanced voting for the March 6th Super Tuesday.

Pickens Election Supervisor Julianne Roberts said she isn’t anticipating much Saturday action at the county election office on Pioneer Road, across from the city park. This is the only advanced polling spot in the county. Regular precinct polls will still be used on election day.


Roberts said to simplify terminology the state refers to all voting prior to election day as advanced voting. They formerly differentiated some as “advanced” and some as “early” voting. Advanced voting runs through March 2nd at the Pioneer Road location and then at all polling locations on March 6th.

Roberts said the only item on the ballot is the presidential primary. There are ballots for both Democrats and Republicans, but President Barack Obama is the only candidate on the Democrat side.

Roberts said in Georgia, voters may cast a ballot in either parties’ primary, regardless of how the voter is registered with a party or has voted before.

The Republican ballots shows nine candidates, some are virtually unknown and some have already conceded the race.

The Republicans who appear on the ballot are Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

In this primary there will be no runoff.

As of Monday only 145 people had cast advanced ballots in the county. Roberts said turnout has been surprisingly slow for a presidential primary since it opened Feb. 13th.

“145 is really, really low at this point with us heading into the second week,” Roberts said. “I don’t know why [it’s so low]. We would expect more with presidential candidates on the ballot.”

This Saturday the voting office will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Normal hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Voters need a photo identification to cast a ballot. Roberts said almost everyone uses a driver’s license, but any government issued photo identification will work.

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