Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Early Voting for Senate Runoff in Georgia

The election cycle is not completed in Georgia. To win an election in these parts, you need to get 50 percent plus one vote. Since the incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss fell short on November 4th, he's going against his Democratic rival, Jim Martin, in a runoff election on December 2nd.

This race is garnering national attention, because this is one of three US Senate races that have not been resolved, and if Jim Martin wins, the Democrats will be one seat closer to the magical 60 Senators necessary for a filibuster-proof Senate. This is also interesting since Georgia "used to be" a red state, with Republican governor and two Republican senators. The state, particularly in the metro Atlanta area, turned slightly more blue during the general election with President-elect Barack Obama losing the state by only 4 percent.

Both parties are pulling out the big guns for this runoff:
  • Sen. John McCain was in Georgia last week stumping for Chambliss

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won Georgia’s GOP presidential primary in February, joined about 2,000 people Sunday afternoon at a rally for Chambliss

  • President Bill Clinton will be in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon for Martin at Clark Atlanta University

  • There are rumors that Gov. Sarah Palin may come to Georgia for Chambliss

  • The Obama campaign infrastructure has revved back up to support Martin, by making phone calls, sending e-mail messages, and encouraging early voting

  • Donna Brazile, campaign director for Vice President Al Gore's run in 2000 plans to come to Georgia to advise the Martin campaign

  • And some circles are holding out hope that President-elect Barack Obama may come down here to seal the deal a few days before the election

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Early voting started on Monday, November 17th and runs through the Wednesday (November 26th) before the election. No voting on Thanksgiving.

With the SugarPlum in tow, plezWorld voted Monday afternoon in DeKalb County. There wasn't a long wait (no more than 5 minutes), but there was an unanticipated flurry of activity in the elections office for it to be 2 weeks before a runoff election. Both campaigns are trying to get out the vote and their efforts appear to be working. Don't look for 2 or 3 hours waits, but in some parts of the state, there may be lines as the election date draws closer.

Advance Voting Locations in Metro Atlanta

    Clayton County
  • Early voting 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 24- 26 at six locations. Voters can request an absentee ballot from their county registrar’s office through the close of business on Nov. 26. 770-477-3372.

    Cobb County
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Board of Elections & Registration at 736 Whitlock Ave., west of the Marietta Square. Nov. 24-26, voters can go to five additional locations. 770-528-1000.

    DeKalb County
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main elections office at 4380 Memorial Drive. No satellite locations will be open during early voting. 404-298-4020.

    Fulton County
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at: Fulton County Government Center (downtown), 141 Pryor St.; North Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road; and South Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road. Voting will continue at these locations 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 24-26. 404-730-4000.

    Gwinnett County
  • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main elections office at 455 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville. There will be no satellite early voting locations. 678-226-7210.

What you’ll need
    Under the state’s Voter ID law, voters need one of six forms of photo ID:
  • Any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including the free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired.
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of the state. This includes current photo ID from a public Georgia high school or college.
  • Valid U.S. passport.
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID.
  • Valid tribal photo ID.

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Read the AJC article about early voting in Georgia.

Read the AJC article about Huckabee in Georgia.

Read the AJC article about Bill Clinton coming to Georgia.

Read the FiveThirtyEight.com article about polling difficulties for Georgia runoff.

In other news, read the CNN.com article about how Bill Clinton may affect Obama's Cabinet selection.

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