Early voting cycle in Bibb on the horizon

Staff reportOctober 2, 2013 

The only day of Saturday voting in Macon for the upcoming runoff election is this weekend, and a full week of advance voting starts Monday.

Just 44.3 percent of registered Bibb County voters cast ballots during September’s election for new leaders of the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government. There were 8,209 people who voted early, including 420 who voted Sept. 7, the only Saturday for special election balloting.

All registered voters in Macon and Bibb County -- whether they voted in Sept. 17 or not -- can vote in the mayoral runoff, which pits incumbent Mayor Robert Reichert against former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis. There also are four commission races to decide.

Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson said her office has been busy preparing for the next round of voting, which has included dealing with 300 to 400 applications for absentee ballots some days. Ballots for the Oct. 15 vote are due in the office soon.

She said she hopes more voters would take part in the historic election.

“You’re going to elect your very first mayor and commissioners for the combined, consolidated government,” she said. “It’s the first (election) of its kind in our history. ... This is something we’ve been trying to do for years.

“Come out and make history,” she said. “It’s important to be a part of it.”

The four commission runoff races are:

• In District 2, Macon City Council members Henry Ficklin and Larry Schlesinger square off.

• In District 4, Mallory C. Jones III faces Macon Councilwoman Beverly Olson.

• In District 6, Councilman Ed DeFore is battling Adah Roberts.

• In District 8, Macon City Council members Charles Jones and Virgil Watkins Jr. face off.

Advance voting is held at the Board of Elections office, at 2445 Pio Nono Ave. The office will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday, and early voting at the office next week will run from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Friday.

“Vote by mail” absentee ballot applications are being accepted through Oct. 11, although Watson said that would be cutting it close. She urged voters who will be casting an absentee ballot to start the process earlier.

As of Oct. 1, there have been 2,625 requests for absentee mail-in ballots, Watson said.

Absentee ballot applications are available at the Board of Elections office and on the Board of Elections website: www.co.bibb.ga.us/BOE/BOE.aspx. Applications also are available on the state of Georgia’s “my voter” website page: mvp.sos.state.ga.us.

You may mail the completed application to Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections, P.O. Box 6297, Macon, GA 31208. They may also be faxed to the elections office at 478-784-9774.

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