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Early Voting to Begin February 19

The polls will open for the first time this year on Monday, February 19, as each county welcomes advance voters to cast their ballots in the March 12 Presidential Preference Primary.

The Presidential Preference Primary allows voters to select their preferences for candidates they wish to represent their parties in the nationwide General Election in November. Georgia is an open primary state, meaning voters can choose the party’s ballot they wish to vote. This decision does not register the voter with that party. In a primary election, if a candidate does not achieve the majority of votes (50%+1), there will be a primary runoff election.

Vying for the Republican nomination for President is former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Texas businessman Ryan Binkley. Fellow former legislators Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie, as well as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, were in the fight for the nomination until recently continued from page

when they announced the suspension of their campaigns. Of the 1,215 delegate votes needed to secure the nomination, Trump has collected 33 delegate votes, while Haley has so far amassed 17 delegate votes.

In previous primaries throughout the nation, Trump has come out on top, winning between 51%-55% of the vote in New Hampshire and Iowa. Haley earned 43% of the vote in New Hampshire, and split the vote for 19% of the ballots cast in the Iowa Republican primary.

As for the Democratic Party, President Joe Biden, U.S. Representative Dean Phillips (Minnesota), and author/speaker Marianne Williamson are vying for the nomination.

In the Presidential Preference Primary in New Hampshire, Biden swept the race, earning 66.8% of the party’s vote, while Phillips trailed with 19.6%, and Williamson took home 4%. In the recent Nevada Democratic Presidential Preference Primary, Biden won a landslide victory, garnering 89.3% of the votes. He is currently the only candidate with delegate votes, and has gathered 91 of the needed 1,910 votes to secure their nomination.

Advance voting will be held for three weeks Monday through Friday, February 19-March 8, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in each county. Two Saturday voting options will also be available as the polls open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on February 24 and March 2. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the March 12 election is March 1.

Voters in Montgomery County will be able to cast their ballots at the Montgomery County Government Annex, located at 251 S. Richardson Street in Mount Vernon. For more information, contact Montgomery County Election Superintendent Sheila Cheek at (912) 583-2848.

In Toombs County, the polls will open at 8:30 a.m. each weekday at the Toombs County Courthouse, located at 100 Courthouse Square in Lyons, and will close at 5 p.m. each day. Saturday voting hours will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, contact Toombs County Election Superintendent Carey Alligood at (912) 526-8226.

Early voting will be held in Wheeler County at the Board of Elections Office, 16 W. Forest Avenue, Alamo. For further information, contact Election Superintendent Karen Mercer at (912) 568-0095.

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