Officials hope for smooth Macon-Bibb voting

pramati@macon.comSeptember 16, 2013 

Bibb County elections officials spent a busy Monday setting up at 40 precincts across the county for Tuesday’s special nonpartisan election for the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government.

Monday had its fair share of glitches for workers, as a moving truck to carry voting terminals to the precincts showed up a half-hour late because of a flat tire, while a sheriff’s office pickup also delivering voting machines had brake issues.

Still, those problems were minor compared to the snags during early voting that caused 90 voters across the nine new commission districts to cast ballots in the wrong district. Bibb County Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson said those issues have been corrected, and precinct workers should have voters’ correct information at precincts Tuesday.

Watson said she hopes the issues from early voting are over.

“It’s been kind of a crazy day, the day before an election,” she said.

The Secretary of State’s Office will be sending state election monitors to Bibb County, which Watson said is normal procedure and is not related to the state’s open investigation into the early voting problems. She said the state will send officials to all the precincts to make certain that signs are posted correctly and that machines are working properly.

Cody Whitlock, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, declined to say how many investigators would be in Bibb County, which is the first county in Georgia to use the state’s new voting software.

Elections officials said about 8,200 people voted early in this election, while about 1,400 voters had sent in absentee ballots by the close of business Monday. The deadline for absentee ballots is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Watson said it’s important for voters to take a picture ID with them to the polls Tuesday. If voters don’t have a picture ID or aren’t certain of their proper precinct, they should call the Board of Elections office at 478-621-6622 or go to www.co.bibb.ga.us/BOE/BOE.aspx.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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