Voters wishing to cast a ballot for one of two candidates for Stephens County Sheriff must choose to vote on the Republican Primary Ballot. Voters who choose to participate in the Democratic Party Primary and select a Democratic Ballot will not see candidates for the Sheriff's race on their ballot. The Sheriff's race will be decided by the Primary Election vote, and will not be on the November ballot.
The 2020 General Primary/Presidential Preference Primary Election is tomorrow, June 9. All election-day voting in Stephens County will take place at the Stephens County Senior Center, 55 Rose Ln, Toccoa, near the Stephens County Middle School.
Voting will begin at 7 a.m. and voters may cast their ballot through 7 p.m.
According to Stephens County Elections Supervisor and Registrar Eureka Gober, 1,781 voters cast their vote during in-person Early voting. That is 10.03 percent of Stephens County's 17,749 registered voters. That does not include mail-in ballots. Franklin County reported that 1,023 of its 15,100 registered voters (6.77%) cast ballots in In-person early voting, while Habersham County reported that more than 27 percent of their voters had cast ballots by the end of last Friday. That percentage includes both in-person early voters and mail-in ballots.
Georgia's General Primary Elections allow each party to determine their single top candidate for each race.
Georgia does not require voters to declare a party when they register to vote. However, voters may only participate in one party’s Primary process, so voters must decide if they will participate in the Republican Primary or the Democratic Primary and select the corresponding ballot on which to cast their vote.
When a voter selects either the Democratic or Republican ballot in a Primary election such as tomorrow’s, all candidates from that party for each open seat will be listed. Candidates vying to be the single top candidate from the non-selected, opposing party will not appear on the voter’s ballot.
All non-partisan races, and all the candidates for those seats, are also included on both the Republican and the Democratic Ballot. A voter may select a “non-partisan” ballot – only non-partisan races will be included on that ballot – races that pit a candidate from one party against the candidate from other party in the November General Election will not appear on the “nonpartisan ballot.”
If a candidate who wins the June General Primary would face no opponent at the November General Election, then their win in the General Primary that concludes tomorrow is final, and the seat will not be on the November ballot.
Such is the case with the sole contested local race in Stephens County. Both candidates for the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office are running as Republicans. The Republican Primary election process, which concludes tomorrow, allows those voting on the Republican Ballot to decide which of those two Republican candidates will represent the party in the November General Election – however, since the winner of the Republican Primary would face no challenger in the November election, their win in the General Primary that concludes tomorrow will be final, and the winner will become Stephens County’s Sheriff.
Any voter who wishes to voice their preference between the two sheriff candidates must select a Republican Ballot to vote on in tomorrow’s Primary Election. This does mean that the voter who selects the Republican Party Ballot to participate in the selection of the Stephens County Sheriff will not be able to participate in the Democratic Party primary process to determine the Democratic sole top candidate for contested state and federal races such as the US Senate race between Democrats Sarah Riggs Amico, Marckeith DeJesus, James Knox, Tricia Carpenter McCracken, Jon Osoff, Maya Dillard Smith and Teresa Pike Tomlinson, or candidates Daniel Blackman and John Noel for the top Democratic candidate for Public Service Commissioner, or the three Democratic candidates for the US 9th Congressional District Representative Devin Pandy, Siskin and Dan Wilson.
Democratic Primary ballots contain no Republican candidates, and Republican Primary Ballots contain no Democratic candidates.
The ballot a voter chooses in this General Primary Election does not obligate the voter to a specific ballot or party in the November General Election. Regardless of which ballot a voter selects for the June General Primary, that voter may vote for any candidate, of any party, in the November election.
Local races such as the Sheriff’s race and school board member seats traditionally were held as non-partisan races, so that all voters could vote on all local races, regardless of which party’s primary they wished to participate in for state and federal offices. Some voting rights organizations have petitioned for the return to non-partisan local elections.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A § 21-2-417) requires Georgia residents to show photo identification when voting in person.
You must bring one of the following forms of identification with you to vote in person.
Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
Valid U.S. passport ID
Valid U.S. military photo ID
Valid tribal photo ID
If you do not have one of the six acceptable forms of photo ID, the State of Georgia offers a free ID Card. An ID card can be issued at any county registrar's office or Department of Driver Services Office free of charge.
To receive a voter identification card, the voter must provide:
A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth
Documentation showing the voter's date of birth
Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter
Documentation showing the applicant's name and residential address
Friday, June 5, was the final day voters were could request a mail-in ballot. Those who have already received a mail-in ballot may still return the ballot in person up until 7 p.m. tomorrow, June 9. Mail-in ballots may be returned in person to the polling location at the Stephens County Senior Center, the Stephens County Elections Office in the Historic Courthouse in Toccoa, or the ballot collection box in front of the Stephens County Government Building on N. Alexander Street in Toccoa. The collection box will be available until 7 p.m. June 9.