Chatham Co. Board of Registrars covers voting basics ahead of November election

(WTOC)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As we inch closer to Election Day on Nov. 8, the Chatham County Board of Registrars held a news conference to give some reminders to voters.

“You have an opportunity through your voice and your vote to determine who’s going to represent you and who you think best represents your values, your principles,” Chatham County Board of Registrars Chair Colin McRae said.

In order to have that opportunity, though, everyone must be registered to vote. That window to apply closes on Oct. 11.

McRae said another deadline that’s quickly approaching is Oct. 28, which is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot.

“We, the office of the Board of Registrars, do not send out applications, unsolicited applications,” McRae said.

On Monday, absentee ballots will start getting mailed out, so make sure to check your mailbox over the next few weeks.

On Election Day, all absentee ballots must be put in one of the county’s three drop boxes by 7 p.m. to be counted. These can be found at the BOE office on Eisenhower, Islands Library and Mosquito Patrol.

If you’re mailing your absentee ballot, McRae suggests getting them mailed at least a week before Election Day.

“It’s something that we encourage. It is a very safe and very secure method of voting and it’s gone through a lot of changes even with the recent Senate Bill 202, ostensibly to make it more secure although it was a very secure process to begin with,” McRae said.

LINK >>> WTOC Elections Center

McRae says it’s important that people take notice of the new absentee ballot format. You will receive an envelope and it will have two envelopes in it. Once you fill out the ballot, put it in the yellow envelope.

McRae says the sections on the yellow envelope must be completely filled out. It includes a driver’s license number or state-issued ID as well as your date of birth.

“The most common mistake is failure of the voter to do both. They think, ‘OK, I’ll put one and not the other.’ No, you need to do both,” McRae said.

If an error is detected after it’s mailed in, McRae says you will be sent a cure letter that allows you to fix it, so your vote can be counted.

If voters want to vote early, there is a three-week period to do so. This starts on Oct. 17. McRae says he expects this to be the most common method people use. The county has five early voting sites. People can go to any early voting site they want, regardless of what precinct they live in.

“When you present your ID, it will generate a unique ballot for you when you get up to the actual voting machine,” McRae said.

McRae says there will also be weekend voting with more hours available to do so than they’ve ever had before. Saturday voting will be on Oct. 22 and 29. Sunday voting will take place on Oct. 23 and 30.

He says this is a big election and they anticipate a high voter turnout.

“You’ve got a hotly contested U.S. Senate seat, you have a gubernatorial race, the attorney general, the secretary of state. All these statewide offices that many think affect our daily lives even more so than presidential or senate or things like that,” McRae said.

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