Early Voting is Underway in Muscogee County: Here’s What You Need to Know

Early Voting is Underway in Muscogee County: Here’s What You Need to Know

By Leslie Hudgins

The poll bells have been ringing all throughout Muscogee County as the start of early voting began on Monday, April 29. Director of Elections Nancy Boren says that this is going to be an interesting election for all first-voters because not only is it the May primaries in Muscogee County, but the special election has also begun for the House District 139 seat

The seat was previously held by Richard Smith and is now contested between Sean Knox and Camen Rice in a runoff for the Special Election held on May 7. Residents of District 139 who would like to cast their ballot in the runoff can do so at a designated section of the City Services Center. Voting for the two-year term for House District 139 will be on May 21, 2024. 

If you are not sure if you are registered to vote or want to see the county you are registered in, you can find out on the My Voter Page website

Early voting for the May 21st general election can be done at three locations until May 17. Voters can cast their ballots at Columbus Tech, Shirley Winston Recreation Center, and the City Services Center Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm and the same times on weekends. 

According to Boren, it’s important for first-time voters to understand the ballot selection process before heading to the polls. You will be asked to choose a Democrat, Republican or a nonpartisan ballot. Those who select a Democrat or Republican ballot will include the candidates for that party. The nonpartisan ballot will appear at the bottom of both the Republican and the Democratic ballots. If only a nonpartisan ballot is selected, only the options to vote for judges, school board, Council and the school districts special e SPLOST. None of the statewide races or any of the partisan races such as Sheriff or Tax Commissioner will be visible. This information is crucial for you to make an informed decision. 

You’ll find the race for Council At Large listed twice on your ballot. The first race is to fill the remainder of the term from June until December. The second race, which features the same names, is for the full four-year term. So, you’ll need to vote twice: once for the six-month term and once for the full four-year term.

Voters can also expect to see amendments to the ballot. Boren says this can often be confusing for first-time voters. They are conducted for the primary parties and act as an opinion poll for the primary party, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. The information is used to determine each party’s nomination for the general election. These questions are nonbinding and part of the nomination process for the general elections to gauge the opinions of those who selected the ballot. These questions are completely optional. 

For those who meet the eligible criteria for an absentee ballot, ballots can be requested by mail or by phone at (706)653-4392. To apply voters will need to provide either a driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement or official government documents. Completed applications are excreted by the Muscogee Elections office by mail, fax or email. All absentee ballots must be received by the Elections office by 7 p.m. on election day

Boren wants to remind all voters voting in person to bring a photo ID to vote. This can be a passport, Military ID, or Driver’s license. The ID can even be expired if it is a Georgia State ID. You can find more information about early voting and look at the ballot on the My Voter page website. 

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