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The Oconee County Elections Office, located at 10 Court Street, has a box in front of building for people to drop off their absentee ballots. The box is secure and under 24-hour surveillance, said officials. 

Some voters received instructions to place their ballots in a particular interior envelope that didn’t exist. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that future ballots will tell voters to place their ballots inside a folded piece of paper labeled, “Official absentee ballot.” 

“A vendor [contracted by the state government] is mailing out the ballots, and they included a white sleeve of paper for the ballot instead of an envelope,” explained Oconee Elections Superintendent Fran Leathers. “Use the sleeve as you would the envelope. It is not necessary to tape the sleeve.” 

 If voters forgot to use the sleeve and put their ballot directly in the yellow and white envelope, their vote will still be counted, said Leathers. A stamp is not needed when placing a ballot in the box.

As of last week, the Elections Office received 8,000 absentee ballot applications.  

“Due to the large amount of applications and the vendor mailing the ballots, it may take a bit longer than usual for our voters to receive their ballot in the mail,” said Leathers. “Our elections office is working diligently to process the absentee ballot applications and we truly appreciate your patience and understanding.” 

The Elections Office will reopen Monday at 8 a.m.  

Early voting, which will be held at the Elections Office, runs May 18 through June 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Elections Office will be closed May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Saturday voting will be May 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Georgia’s Primary is June 9. If a runoff election is necessary, it will be held Aug. 11. 

Voters of the primary will also be voting for their presidential preference. President Donald Trump is the only candidate on the Republican ticket. Although multiple Democrats will appear on the Democratic ballot, Joe Biden is now considered the presumptive nominee. 

To contact the Elections Office, call (706) 769-3958. 

For more on this story, see the May 14 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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