Saturday, June 06, 2020

Early Voting Wraps Up With More Than A Quarter Of Oconee County Voters Casting A Ballot

***Majority Of Votes By Absentee***

More than a quarter of Oconee County’s registered voters already has cast a ballot, either in person or by absentee, during the just-completed three weeks of early voting for the June 9 election.

The Tuesday election is a merger of the postponed March 24 presidential primary as well as of the party primaries and nonpartisan elections originally scheduled for May 19, and just less than 70 percent of Oconee County voters have used a Republican ballot in voting so far.

The majority of the ballots received has been Absentee (76.6 percent), and Republican ballots were 65.7 percent of Absentee ballots but 83.1 percent of In-Person ballots.

Overall, only 1.4 percent of the ballots cast were solely for the Nonpartisan judicial races.

The total of 8,308 ballots cast represents 27.3 percent of the county’s 30,457 registered voters.

Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration Director Fran Leathers said the county has issued 9,370 Absentee ballots, meaning that 3,008 of those ballots have yet to be returned.

Persons with an outstanding Absentee ballot can vote at the polls on Tuesday or can turn in the Absentee ballot at the Board of Elections and Registration secure drop box, 10 Court Street, across from the Courthouse, in downtown Watkinsville.

Absentee ballots received by the end of the voting on Tuesday will be counted.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Vote Counting, Turnout Comparisons

Leathers said in an email message on Friday evening that her office would begin scanning the Absentee ballots for the merged elections on Saturday.

Click To Enlarge

The Absentee ballots from the March 24 presidential primary were scanned on Wednesday, she said.

That election was terminated after two weeks of early voting on March 14 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is difficult to find a proper comparison for the 27.3 percent turnout so far of Oconee County voters and for the level of partisan balloting.

In 2016, when the presidential primary was not merged with the state party primaries, 6,446 of the county’s then 22,255 voters cast a ballot at the end of voting on election day, or 29.0 percent.

In that primary, both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party had a U.S. Senate race on the ballot, but only 351 Oconee County voters cast a Democrats ballot, while 6,240 voters cast a Republican ballot.

In the 2018 Gubernatorial election between Republican Brian Kemp, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Libertarian Ted Metz, Abrams received 6,015 votes in Oconee County (29.0 percent) to 14,480 (69.8 percent) for Kemp and 249 (1.2 percent) for Metz.

Nonpartisan judicial races will be decided on June 9 unless there is a need for a runoff.

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