Delayed Election Day finally arrives


The party primaries, which include races for local posts from sheriff to commissioner to clerk of court to school board, will be held Tuesday.

  • Franklin County Elections workers began processing hundreds of absentee ballots for Tuesday's primary elections last week.
    Franklin County Elections workers began processing hundreds of absentee ballots for Tuesday's primary elections last week.

CARNESVILLE – The delayed party primary election will finally arrive Tuesday at polling places across the county.

Tuesday’s election will include races for local Franklin County posts, some state and federal races and the presidential preference primary.

The presidential primary was delayed twice since its original date in March, while the party primaries were pushed back from May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since all candidates for local offices are running as Republicans, the June 9 election will serve as the main election for local posts.

Regular polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday, though there will be social distancing rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will follow the guidelines set forth by the state,” Franklin County Elections Supervisor Gina Kesler said. “We will have a poll worker at the door allowing people to enter according to the number of voters and workers inside.  We have probably three locations that can allow 25 in the location, the remainder will have to adhere to the 10-person guideline.  We will have hand sanitizer for voters, masks and gloves for workers.  Machines, stylus, pens, etc. will be wiped down just like we are doing here for early voting to keep voters and workers safe.”

The election will be held on the state’s new voting machines, which use a touch screen to mark ballots and then prints out a paper ballot that is scanned in order to cast the vote.

Voters must choose which party’s ballot they wish to vote.

Republican races on the ballot will include:

• Sheriff – between incumbent Stevie Thomas and challenger Scott Andrews;

• Clerk of Court – between Tonya Bridges, Nick Fowler and Heather Vaughn Hill;

• County Commission Chairman – between Britt Ginn, Jason Macomson and Christopher Roach;

• County Commission District 1 – between incumbent Robert Franklin, Sheila Baker and Doris Warwick;

• County Commission District 2 – between Kyle Foster and Dawn Holcomb;

• Board of Education Post 1 – between incumbent Eric Burrell and Gary Minyard;

• Board of Education Post 2 – between incumbent Jo Beth James and Kent Hall;

• State Senate District 50 – between Andy Garrison, Dan Gasaway, Stacy Hall, Bo Hatchett, Tricia Hise and Lee Moore; and

• Ninth District U.S. Representative – between Michael Boggus, Paul Broun, Andrew Clyde, Matt Gurtler, Kevin Tanner, Ethan Underwood, Kellie Weeks and John Wilkinson.

The Democratic ballot includes no local races but has contested contests for:

• U.S. Representative – between Devin Pandy, Brooke Siskin and Dan Wilson;

• U.S. Senate for the seat of David Perdue – between Sarah Riggs Amico, Mackeith DeJesus, James Knox, Tricia Carpenter McCracken, Jon Ossoff, Maya Dillard Smith and Teresa Pike Tomlinson; and

• Public Service Commissioner – between Daniel Blackman and John Noel. 

Non-partisan races, which will appear on both party ballots, will include state Supreme Court seats between incumbent Charlie Bethel and Elizabeth “Beth” Beskin for one seat and incumbent Sarah Hawkins Warren and Hal Moroz for another.

All Franklin County voters received an absentee ballot application in the mail as part of a state-wide effort to encourage vote-by-mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All of the absentee ballots must be returned to the elections office, either by mail or in the dropbox outside the office, by June 9 at 7 p.m. to be counted in the election.

Voters may continue to request absentees until Friday, Kesler said.

Due to the number of mailed-in ballots, the elections office began processing the ballots Tuesday and will continue until June 9.

Anyone who has received an absentee ballot but who chooses to vote in-person as well must return the ballot to the elections office or to their polling place on Election Day, Kesler said.

“The ballots will have to be cancelled in our state system before a voter card can be made for them,” she said. “We want to be able to keep lines down at the polls if at all possible, but with the social distancing guidelines and cancelling ballots we ask that voters have patience with us.”