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Primary voting open early

With Super Tuesday growing ever nearer, time is running out for Georgians to voice their preferences for who will appear on November’s presidential ballot.

Super Tuesday refers to the Tuesday in February or March when the greatest number of states hold primary elections.

Advanced voting for Georgia’s presidential preference primary is ongoing until 7 p.m. on March 2 at the Lowndes County Election Office.

The Elections Office, located at 2808 N. Oak St. in Valdosta, welcomes voters from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday. There is no voting over the weekend or on Monday as the official election date is March 6. Legally, no votes are allowed to be cast on the Monday before an election.

Click HERE for a map to the location of the Valdosta Elections Office

On Tuesday, voting hours are also 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but ballots must be cast at voters’ registered polling place.

Those registered to vote in Lowndes County may vote in person at the Elections Office this week or at their registered polling places on Tuesday.

Absentee ballots are also available for those who wish to vote but are registered in another county. These ballots can be filled out at the Lowndes County Elections Office and mailed or faxed to the voters’ home counties.

Voters may also request to have an absentee ballot sent to them by mail. The deadline to cast an absentee ballot is Friday.

Due to the unpredictability of mail routes in other counties, Tiffany Linkswiler, absentee manager and admin clerk at the elections office, recommends that absentee ballots be cast by noon on Friday.

According to Linkswiler, peak voting hours are currently between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.”…but every day is getting progressively busier,” she said.

Kathryn Grant, senior general studies major, feels that it is extremely important for students to get out and vote.

“Voting matters,” she said. “…I know that people have, many people have, gotten to the point of thinking that their vote doesn’t count, but particularly at local elections and even nationally there are a lot of examples of a small handful of votes having swayed the election. In a democratic structure, that’s how our voices are heard.”

Not all students share her sentiment, however. To Matt Stone, junior mass media major, the primaries just are not that important.

“It doesn’t really elect the president,” he said. “It just decides who’s gonna run for it.”

Stone prefers to wait until the presidential election in November to cast his vote.

To be eligible to vote in the presidential preference primary, voters must have been registered by Feb. 6. Though it is too late to register to vote in the Primary, it is not too late to register in time for November’s presidential election.

“Voting’s actually easy,” Grant said. “You just go down, and oftentimes, especially if you’re voting in the primaries or voting early, you don’t have to stand in line and I think it’s kind of fun.

“Every time I vote it’s a moving experience. I feel really fortunate that I can do that because there are a lot of people who can’t, especially women. A lot of women in the world are still not able to vote, so it’s—to me—an honor.”

To be eligible for the November election, voters must be registered by Oct. 8.

Also coming up on the election calendar is the general primary for county officials, non-partisan offices, and state elected officials on July 31. Many officials have terms expiring in 2012, which would put their positions up to a vote this year. Eligibility for this election requires voters be to be registered by July 2.

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