On the Net
• More voting information can be found on Forsyth County’s Web site, www.forsythco.com.
• Also: When voting, voters will be asked to provide one of six forms of photo identification, including a driver’s license or U.S. passport.
The start of early voting for the July 31 primary was a busy one for the Forsyth County Elections Office.
Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth said the voting was held in the foyer of the county administration building instead of the elections office to accommodate the 201 people who showed up Monday.
“We had a good turnout. I don’t know if it was just the first day,” she said. “It was also a jury day, so … we got a lot of people on the jury, but it was other people too, so it wasn’t just the Monday jury pool.”
The pace slowed some Tuesday and Wednesday, Luth said, though she expects a steady flow throughout the week. If there’s a big drop-off, early voting could move back to the elections office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 550 people had cast their ballots in the primary, which features several contests for local and state legislative offices, as well as two congressional seats and a referendum on a regional sales tax for transportation.
Luth has previously said she expects about 25 percent of the county’s 112,000 registered voters to take part in the primary.
But while the office is dealing with early voters, it’s also accommodating those who fall under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against Georgia for allegedly violating the act by not giving military and overseas voters access to a ballot at least 45 days prior to an election.
The state is in compliance with the rule for the July 31 primary. However, if a runoff election occurs, it would be held Aug. 21. That would leave less than a month for absentee voters to know which candidates are in a runoff.
The same applies for the Nov. 6 general election, when the runoff has been scheduled for Dec. 4.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp recently announced new information regarding the district court’s preliminary injunction in the suit.
For the U.S. House of Representatives seat in District 9, which includes most of north Forsyth, and other races that could result in a runoff, voters who fall under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act would have until Aug. 31 to get their ballots in.
“I feel this is good for the UOCAVA voters that we will be accepting their ballots by e-mail, fax or expressed mail,” Luth said.
The process will delay certification, originally slated for Aug. 24, until Aug. 31, Luth said.
With just 67 such voters in Forsyth, ballots received later than Aug. 21 won’t likely make a difference in the outcome of a contest.
But it’s about being fair, Luth said of the process.
“It’s not a fault of their own,” she said. “This is giving them an option to get it back to us faster, and I like that idea. We shouldn’t penalize them because they’re serving our country.”