Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson looks up voter information Wednesday at the Dougherty County Elections Office at 222 Pine Avenue. The Elections office will open up the Candy Room at 125 Pine Avenue Saturday at 9 a.m. to allow for voting for the presidential preference primary.
ALBANY Dougherty County Elections officials are urging people who intend to vote in the presidential primary to take advantage of early voting opportunities, including the state's first-ever statewide Saturday voting.
125 Pine Avenue, Albany, GA
This Saturday, voters in all of Georgia's 159 counties will have a chance to cast their ballots in the presidential primary ahead of the March 6 "Super Tuesday" election day.
While early voting is ongoing and will continue until March 2, elections officials are prepping for Saturday voting and are attempting to spread the word so voters can avoid the lines at their local precincts on election day itself.
"It's another opportunity the state took to give people a chance to avoid the lines on election day and get their votes counted," Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said.
In Albany, poll workers will staff the Candy Room at 125 Pine Avenue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to assist voters.
The Saturday voting is a by product of elections reforms undertaken by the Georgia General Assembly last year. Legislators revamped the early voting statute by trimming the number of days people can vote in-person from 45 to 21 while adding one Saturday before the election as a day to vote.
Previously, the decision to open a polling place on a Saturday was a decision left to the individual county election authorities, officials say.
GOP voters will be able to choose from nine candidates when they vote. On the ballot for the March 6 Georgia Presidential Primary will be front-runner Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer and Michelle Bachman.
For those who wish to vote early on a day other than the Saturday, Feb. 25, the Elections Office at 222 Pine Avenue is open Monday through Friday until March 2 for in-person voting.
On Tuesday, March 6, all of the precincts in Dougherty County will open. Voters must cast ballots at their proper precincts on election day, Nickerson said.
So far, only a small percentage of voters have cast ballots early, elections officials say. As of Wednesday morning, 215 people in Dougherty County had voted in-person for either the GOP or Democratic Part Presidential Primary.
A candidate must have 1144 of 2286 state delegates to win the GOP nomination for president. At present, Romney leads the pack with 127 delegates, followed by Gingrich with 38 delegates, Santorum is third with 37 delegates won and Paul the only other candidate with any delegates at 27.
Georgia has a total of 76 total delegates at stake on Super Tuesday.
Anyone with questions about their polling place can call the elections office at 229- 431-3247