Voting for the presidential primary starts Monday

For the first time, Georgia voters will be able to go to the polls on a Saturday to cast ballots in the Republican primary, officials said Friday.

The presidential primary isn’t until March 6, but early voting begins Monday in Richmond County, according to Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey. Early voters will have three weeks to make it to the polls, including one Saturday – Feb. 25, Bailey said.

“We’re excited about it because it will provide a better opportunity for people to vote and to even bring their kids along and introduce them to the voting process,” Bailey said.

During the first two weeks of early voting, voters will have to cast their ballots at the Board of Elections’ main office at 530 Greene St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the third week – Feb. 27 to March 2 – more sites will be opened at the Warren Road Recreation Center, 300 Warren Road, and the Henry Brigham Recreation Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road. Also, voting hours will be extended until 6 p.m. daily.

The additional voting sites also will be open Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bailey said.

Early voting in Columbia County will be held for the next three weeks, at the Board of Elections office at 500 Faircloth Drive in Evans, Building E of the Columbia County Government Center, according to elections officials. The office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office also will be open for voting 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 25.

On March 6, the day of the Super Tuesday primary, all precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can request a Republican ballot and choose from among nine candidates: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Or they can choose a Democratic ballot and vote for the only candidate listed – President Obama.

Bachmann, Huntsman and Perry have withdrawn from the race, but their withdrawals came too late for their removal from the ballot.

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