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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal by clicking here. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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BREAKING NEWS: Am I Automatically Getting an Absentee Ballot
and Other Important Information for the November Election
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The Board of Registrars asked Chief Registrar Lynn Vickers to reach out to the media to explain the absentee ballot process in the upcoming election. There will be some changes from the past election when it comes to absentee ballots as well as a couple of changes in polling locations on Election Day.

Here is some important information that will bring you up to date on the November Election.

Who Will Automatically Receive Absentee Ballots?

First, the State of Georgia will not be automatically sending absentee ballots to everyone in the state. "Only those who are elderly and disabled who requested absentee ballots in the June election will automatically receive a ballot through the mail," Vickers said. "Anyone else who would like to obtain an absentee ballot must request it, and the absentee ballot will arrive by mail."

The easiest way to obtain an absentee ballot is by going onto the Secretary of State’s website at My Voter Page and requesting an absentee ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office is working on an online absentee ballot request portal which will be used specifically for requesting an absentee ballot. This portal is not online yet, but it is in the works. Click here to read about the absentee portal.

UPDATE 8.29.20: THE ABSENTEE BALLOT PORTAL IS NOW ONLINE AT https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/

How to Return Absentee Ballots

While absentee ballots are required to be sent to voters through the mail to their mailing address, there are several ways to return them.

First, voters can drop their ballots into the mail at least one week prior to the election in order to give the ballots time to travel to the Atlanta processing and distribution center and back to Zebulon as current mail regulations require. [Note from the Editor: All mail in the state does this and has for a number of years.]

Second, voters can bring their ballots to the Registrar’s Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and hand it directly to a staff member in the Registrar’s Office.

And third, voters can drop their completed absentee ballots into the soon to be coming secure Absentee Ballot Return Box outside of the Registrar’s Office in Zebulon.

Secure Drop Box for Absentee Ballots

There will be a drop box specifically designed for Pike County citizens to drop off their absentee ballots for the November election. It will be located at the corner of the Registrar’s building close to the road. [Note from the Editor: This building also houses the Tax Assessor, Tax Commissioner, and Planning and Zoning offices.] The drop box will be placed in a location that is monitored by the cameras from the Sheriff’s Office.

The drop box is also designed with a three key lock to discourage illegal tampering with the ballots inside.

There is another safeguard as well. This one ensures that no one tampers with the ballots when they are removed and placed in the Registrar’s Office for safekeeping until the day of the election. The Dropbox will be emptied every 24 hours during the election cycle.

Two people will have to be together in order to open the box and remove the absentee ballots as well as filling out and signing a form to tell how many ballots were removed from the box each day. This will create a paper trail for accountability.

Vickers spoke highly of getting a secure box to collect completed absentee ballots. “I think it’s a good thing,” she said.

Deadlines to Receive Absentee Ballots

Voters should put their ballots in the mail at least one week prior to the deadline to ensure that the ballot reaches its destination prior to the deadline because regular absentee ballots must be received in the mail by 5 p.m. on the night of the election.

Absentee ballots placed in the secure drop box will be collected at 7 p.m. on Election Night. Voters who are sheltering or cannot physically return the ballots can vote, sign, and seal their ballots before sending the ballot with a friend to be dropped off in the drop box if they would rather not send their ballots through the mail.

Military and overseas ballots have to be received by the Friday following Election Day.

And those who cast provisional ballots cast on Election Day will have three days to bring in identification necessary to ensure that their vote counts.

Key Voting Dates

Here are some key dates for the upcoming November Election.

September 15, 2020 is the earliest day for the Registrar’s Office to mail an absentee ballot.

October 5, 2020 is the last day that a person may register to vote in the November Election.

Advanced in Person (Early voting in person) begins on October 12, 2020 and will continue Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through October 30. October 24 is the mandatory Saturday voting day with voting hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The final day of early voting will be on Friday, October 30. There will be no voting on Monday, November 1.

The Registrar’s Office will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but no voting will be allowed during the first hour of opening or the last hour of the day in order for the staff to complete required state paperwork pertaining to voting each day.

Election Day will be on Tuesday, November 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voter identification is required in order to vote. If there is an issue with voting on that day due to no ID on person, a problem with a mailing address, etc. voters can cast a provisional ballot on paper and walk through necessary steps prior to the deadline on the following Friday.

The earliest day for the Registrar’s Office to mail out an absentee ballot for the General Election Runoff for federal offices (aka the Jungle Primary for Senator Kelly Loeffler’s current US Senate seat) will be on November 18, 2020.

Advanced in Person (Early voting in person) will be on December 14, 2020.

Election Day for the Federal Runoff (if needed) will be on January 5, 2021. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voter identification will be required at the polls.

Polling Place Changes for Election Day

Vickers advised that there will be some changes to polling places in the upcoming election.

If you live in Concord, look for a new Election Day voting precinct. The Concord Fire Station will be completed by the November Election Day and will be the new polling location for Concord residents. The new fire station is located at 23 Society Street in Concord.

If you live in Zebulon, look for a new Election Day voting precinct. Election Day voting will no longer be in the Pike County Courthouse. The Zebulon polls will be moved to the school auditorium across from Christ Chapel on Highway 19. The address of the auditorium is 7362 Highway 19 in Zebulon.

All early voting will remain at the Voter Registrar’s Office located at 81 Jackson Street in Zebulon right next door to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.


Election time is coming, and the State of Georgia will only be automatically sending absentee ballots to the elderly and disabled voters who requested this service in the previous election. If you have a question of whether or not you are on that list or you have questions or concerns, please call the Registrar’s Office at 770-567-2003.

You can also send an email or find out additional information on the Registrar’s webpage on the Pike County Government website. Click here for additional information.

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