JONESBORO — If the early bird gets the worm then what does the early voter get?
Georgia’s primary Election Day is still three-and-a-half weeks away but voters will be able to cast their ballots much sooner than that. They will be able to have their say in the elections as early as next week when the state’s early voting period begins.
“Beginning July 9 until July 20, voters will be allowed to vote in person at the Elections and Registration Office,” Clayton County Elections and Registration Director Annie Bright stated in an e-mail.
Georgia allows its voters to cast ballots during two different yet similar early time periods before Election Day. There is the early voting period, which begins nearly a month before Election Day. Then there is the absentee-in-person, or advance voting, period during the week before the election, stated Bright. The advance voting period this year runs from July 23 until July 27.
So, what is the difference between early voting and advance voting?
“There are no differences in advance voting and early voting,” stated Bright. “Advance voting and early voting [are] the same.”
Oh, and there is also Saturday voting on July 21 that can be counted as a third option for early voting.
Bright said Georgia law requires voters to present photo identification to poll workers. She said acceptable identification can include a current or expired Georgia driver’s license or any other valid form issued by either the state or federal governments. A U.S. passport, a government employee identification card, a military identification card or a tribal identification card qualify as acceptable identification.
She said voters can get a free voter identification card from the Georgia Department of Driver Services from their county registrar’s office. The voter identification card can be used at the polls.
Early voters can only cast ballots at the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office at 121 South McDonough St., Jonesboro.
Voters who want to cast ballots during Saturday voting or advance voting can go to six locations across the county including the elections and registration office. The other five locations are:
• Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, 3499 Rex Road, Rex;
• Frank Bailey Senior Center, 6213 Riverdale Road, Riverdale;
• Clayton County Headquarters Library, 865 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro;
• Lovejoy Library Branch, 1721 McDonough Road, Hampton;
• Morrow Municipal Complex, 1500 Morrow Road, Morrow.