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Polls open Saturday
Legislation results in a first for elections
Vote WEB 1
Chester Kramarski votes Wednesday. Thanks to a recent change the polls will be open Saturday. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At a glance

• Early voting for the March 6 presidential preference primary is set for 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in the Forsyth County Administration building, 110 Main St. in Cumming.

• Advance voting will be held next week at five sites: Hampton Park Library; Sharon Springs Park Community Building; Cumming City Hall; Midway Park Community Building; and at the county administration building.

• For more information, call (770) 781-2118 or visit

Those interested in voting ahead of time in the March 6 presidential preference primary in Georgia have a new option.

“We’ve never had Saturday voting here … so this is the first time,” said Barbara Luth, Forsyth County’s elections supervisor.

This Saturday, voters statewide will have a weekend alternative to the regular Monday-Friday early voting.

In Forsyth, they can cast their ballots from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county administration building in downtown Cumming.

The change stems from a bill introduced last legislative session by District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton, a Republican from Cumming.

Hamilton said he is “anxious to see what this Saturday’s turnout will be.”

“Since this is the first time we are able to vote on Saturday, I have decided to try it myself and I plan to vote then,” he said.

Luth has described early voting so far as slow and steady. As of Thursday afternoon, 1,377 voters had cast ballots. An additional 297 ballots have been received by mail.

Hamilton’s measure also shortened the early voting period from 45 days to 21 days and required election offices to provide one Saturday.

Luth said the extra days of not having to run early voting have been helpful. It has saved money, which was Hamilton’s intention, but also “means we don’t have to have additional personnel in the office and we’re not strapped to the office as much.”

“It gave us time to get some training out of the way and some packing and everything that we need to do for the election, without having to man the office as well,” she said.

Luth added that she’s not expecting a big turnout Saturday because it is still a novelty. As word of mouth spreads, however, she expects turnout to pick up and eventually be a popular option.

Like weekday early voting, there will be three machines set up Saturday, but more will be on hand in case turnout exceeds expectations.

Can’t vote Saturday? Well, the advance voting period begins Monday and runs through March 2.

During that time, voting is offered at five locations throughout the county instead of one.

In addition the hours are also longer, with the locations opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m.

On Tuesday and Thursday of next week, advance voting will run until 7 p.m. to give people a chance to vote after work.

In addition to the presidential primary, all three ballot choices — Republican, Democratic and non-partisan — ahave at least one alcohol sales question, asking voters if they’d like to grant stores in Forsyth County the ability to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays.

Residents of the city of Cumming have a second question asking if city vendors can sell on Sundays.

Those requesting a party ballot do not need to vote in the same party during the July primary or November election.