Drop box installed at elections office

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Voters who wish to cast ballots by absentee can now drop them off at the county election office any time.

  • Franklin County Elections Supervisor Gina Kesler demonstrates how to drop off an absentee ballot at her office's new outside drop box that will be available for the June 9 primary.
    Franklin County Elections Supervisor Gina Kesler demonstrates how to drop off an absentee ballot at her office's new outside drop box that will be available for the June 9 primary.
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CARNESVILLE – Voters who wish to cast ballots by absentee can now drop them off at the county election office any time.

A drop box for absentee ballots has been installed at the  Franklin County Elections and Registration Office in Carnesville.

The State Election Board approved the use of drop boxes April 15 for ballots in the June 9 primary election. Each county was given an option of installing a drop box.

Franklin County elected to install a box near the front door of the office. 

The box is locked, secure and under video surveillance. Elections office workers empty ballots each day, Elections Supervisor Gina Kesler said.

During office hours, a box of envelopes is also available if voters wish to place their absentee ballot in an envelope.

The state did not include an envelope in the absentee ballots they mailed out. Instead, this year's absentee ballots include a sleeve for voters to place the ballot in.

The June 9 primary is being held with special opportunities.

Due to concerns over exposing the public and election workers to the spread of the coronavirus, the state sent out absentee applications to all active voters in the state. Franklin County also had the state send applications to those voters who are classified as inactive due to not taking part in recent elections.

To vote by absentee, a voter must return the application – which includes a choice of which party’s ballot to receive and mail it back to the Franklin County Elections Office. 

The voter’s preferred ballot will then be mailed to them. After marking the ballot, the voter can then choose to mail the ballot back to the elections office in Carnesville or bring it by and place it in the drop box.

Absentee ballots will be accepted until 7 p.m. on June 9.

Kesler said that her office is getting back a great number of ballots already. The office received 186 on Thursday and more than 100 on Friday.

The June 9 election will include races for local Franklin County posts, some state and federal races and the presidential preference primary. Since all candidates for local offices are running as Republicans, the June 9 election will serve as the main election for local posts.

State officials have twice delayed the originally scheduled March 24 presidential primary and pushed back all federal, state and local primary contests to June 9 due to coronavirus.

A huge surge in absentee ballot voting is expected with concerns over coronavirus unlikely to abate in the coming months. 

 

Information from a previously published story by Beau Evans, a staff writer for Capitol Beat News Service, which is funded by the Georgia Press Association, was used in this story.