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Confused about upcoming elections and how to cast your ballot? Here’s an explainer
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Applications for absentee ballots have been sent to registered voters for the June 9 general primary, which now also includes the presidential preference primary in Dawson County.

Officials announced this week that the presidential preference primary originally scheduled for March 24, would be postponed for a second time due to COVID-19 and will be held on June 9. The general primary planned for May 19 will be held the same day.

For those who voted early in March, you will not vote on those items again in June, but there are several more races on the ballot. 

The June general primary includes races for several county, state and federal government positions, including two seats on the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, the Georgia State House 9th District seat and the office of Dawson County Sheriff. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a March press conference that ballots cast in March will be counted with the other ballots cast later in the year.

“If you voted early, your vote counts and will be counted with the other votes cast in May,” Raffensperger said. “... Because of the digital system, we are able to easily provide personalized ballots to those who voted early and those who haven’t.”

For those who did not vote before the March 24 primary and special election were postponed as officials monitored the spread of COVID-19, you will be able to vote on those items in June. Those items include a special purpose local option sales tax for education, bond referendums for Hall and Gainesville school systems and the presidential preference primary.

Both the presidential preference primary and general primary are partisan elections, with voters selecting a specific party’s ballot.  Raffensperger said voters will be able to select one party’s ballot for the presidential preference primary and another party’s ballot for the general primary, if they would prefer. 

Dawson County Board of Election and Registration Director Glenda Ferguson said that Dawson County voters will receive one of two ballots, depending on whether or not they have previously voted in March. 

“Voters will either receive the general primary ballot or the combined ballot,” Ferguson said. “The combined ballot has the presidential race on it, so those that did not vote in the Presidential Preference Primary will have the option of voting the presidential race as well as all the other races on their ballot.”

For those that have already voted early for the Presidential Primary, the general primary ballot option will have all the races on it except for the presidential race.

The state has mailed out absentee ballot applications to all active registered voters, and according to Ferguson the Dawson County Board of Election and Registration has been getting a ton of those applications back.

“Once we receive those applications, either by mail or email, we input it into our system and then a ballot will be sent to voters,” Ferguson said. 

For more information and updates on voting, visit the Dawson County Elections and Voter Registration website at https://www.dawsoncounty.org/elections

DCN Reporter Erica Schmidt contributed to this report.

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