With the early voting for the 2020 Presidential Election right around the corner, there are many important dates and guidelines to remember.
The cutoff for voter registration is Monday, Oct. 5. You can register to vote online by visiting https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov or by printing out and following the instructions on the voter registration application at https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/GA_VR_APP_2019.pdf.
You can check your voter status, as well as information on your polling precinct and location, at the “My Voter Page” at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do.
Advance voting will open on Monday, Oct. 12 and will last until Friday, Oct. 30. Advance voting will be held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there will also be a Saturday voting day on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All advance voting will be held at the Dawson County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office at 96 Academy Avenue in Dawsonville.
On Election Day, Nov. 3, all polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those voting on Election Day will report to their assigned precinct. The Dawson County Precincts are:
West: Dawson County Fire Station #6 at 2142 Hubbard Road, Dawsonville.
Central: Dawson County Board of Elections and Registration Office at 96 Academy Avenue, Dawsonville.
East: Dawson County EMS Station #2 at 145 Liberty Drive, Dawsonville.
For those wanting to vote absentee, the absentee ballot application can be found at https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Absentee%20Ballot%20Fillable%20form%20820.pdf. To apply for an absentee ballot, you can fill out the form and return it by mail to 96 Academy Avenue, Dawsonville, GA 30534, fax it to 706-344-3642 or email email@example.com with a signature provided.
Absentee ballots can be returned to the red “absentee ballot drop box” at the Board of Elections and Voter Registration office at 96 Academy Avenue. This is currently the only ballot drop box in the county and is video monitored and emptied each day, according to Board of Elections and Voter Registration Director Glenda Ferguson.
“It is under camera surveillance and it is drive-by, so anybody can drive by and not have to get out their vehicle,” Ferguson said. “By law we have to retrieve those ballots every day, and when voting gets a little heavier we’ll collect those more than once a day, and we have to log and sign who retrieved the ballots and who they gave them to, that kind of thing.”
In order to ensure your absentee ballot is filled out completely and correctly, it is paramount to fully read and follow the instructions printed on the ballot, Ferguson said.
“The state actually has the do’s and don'ts printed on the ballot now so you can read those, and use a regular ballpoint pen to fill it out,” Ferguson said. “Then make sure you sign the oath of elector on the ballot before you turn it in.”
The other thing to remember when voting with an absentee ballot is to mail it back or deliver it promptly, she said.
“The post office, in all fairness to them, isn’t equipped to handle the thousands of ballots that are going to be passing through, so don’t wait to mail it back,” Ferguson said. “If you wait to turn it in, make sure you turn it in at the dropbox and not by mail.”
For more information on voting in Dawson County, visit the Board of Elections and Voter Registration website at https://www.dawsoncounty.org/elections or call 706-344-3640.