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Early voting starts next week, 1,500 have already voted absentee in Troup County

There are just 29 days until the Nov. 3 general election, and Monday was the last day to register to vote in Georgia.

As of Sept. 1, there were 41,489 registered voters in Troup County, according to Georgia Secretary of State data.

Early voting starts Oct. 12 and is available through Oct. 30, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Troup County Government Center. There will also be one Saturday where early voting occurs — Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a second early voting location in Hogansville at its Tuesday meeting. The Hogansville location will have the same hours and dates as the Troup County Government Center.

If approved, early voting will be at the Hogansville City Hall Annex, located at 600 East Main Street. This building was formerly the public library and should not be confused with the new library on Johnson Street. The new library will serve as a voting precinct on election day but will not be used for early voting.

As long as you are registered to vote in Troup County, you can vote early at either location. County Elections and Registration Supervisor Andrew Harper said the second location’s approval was “virtually guaranteed.”

The Troup County Elections office is already processing absentee ballot requests, sending out ballots and receiving completed ballots.

Those wishing to vote absentee by mail can request a ballot through the county elections office or through an online portal at https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/.

Absentee ballots must be sent through the mail or dropped into one of Troup’s three ballot drop boxes. All of the boxes are now installed, Harper confirmed.

There is one in LaGrange at the Troup County Government Center, one at the Hogansville Police Department and one at West Point City Hall.

Your ballot must be received your absentee ballot by election day, so provide ample time if you choose to mail it.

Harper said his office has sent out 6,669 absentee ballots — about 1,500 have been returned.

That means about 16% of Troup County voters have already requested absentee ballots and about 3 to 4% have already voted.

Given the rough number of 1,500, it’s safe to say more Troup voters have already cast their ballot than voted absentee by mail for president in 2016. In 2016, 1,259 absentee ballots were cast in Troup for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson.

This year’s June election gave an indication for how Troup County voters would vote during the pandemic. In the 2016 presidential election, 4.8% of ballots cast in Troup were absentee, and 45.3% were cast early in-person.

In the June presidential primary, 45.3% of ballots were absentee, while just 16.3% were early in-person.

To view a sample ballot with all of the races, go to Troup County’s elections and registration page.

In addition to voting for president, two Georgia Senate races and Public Service Commission, there are several contested local races that voters will decide.

U.S. Rep Drew Ferguson, the Republican incumbent, has Democrat Val Almonord as his opponent.

Republican state Rep. Randy Nix is being challenged by Democrat Herbert Giles in District 69, while incumbent Democrat state Rep. Bob Trammell is being challenged by Republican David Jenkins.

In the sheriff’s contest, incumbent James Woodruff faces Democrat Ricky Ward.

Three incumbent Republican county commissioners face Democratic opponents.

Ellis Cadenhead is being challenged by Andrew Moody, Lewis Davis is being challenged by Synda Ogletree and Morris Jones is being challenged by Yvonne Lopez.

There are also two Georgia constitutional amendments, a statewide referendum and a local special election.

In the special election, voters will decide whether a Troup County School District property tax break for seniors is expanded.