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Qualifying ends soon for local elections

Local qualifying for the May 19 General Primary is ongoing during business hours at the Office of Registration and Elections at 81 Jackson Street in Zebulon until noon on Friday, March 6. Offices in Pike that are up for election included sheriff, county commission chairman, probate judge, magistrate judge, clerk of court, tax commissioner, coroner, county commission District 3 and District 4 seats and the District 3, 4 and 5 school board seats. Qualifying fees were approved by commissioners at their Jan. 8 meeting and are as follows: county commission chairman – $180; county commissioner – $162; magistrate judge – $1,392.25; probate judge – $1,392.25; superior court clerk – $1,392.25; tax commissioner – $1,392.25; sheriff – $1,616.40; coroner – $298.54; and school board member – $72. Those who qualified as of press time Monday include Rebekah Hanson and Pam Thompson for Pike County Clerk of Superior Court; Marcia Callaway Ingram for Magistrate Judge; Virginia ‘˜Ginny’ Blakeney and Brent Taylor for Pike County Probate Judge; Jimmy Thomas for sheriff; and Denise Burrell for District 5 and Marci Bradberry for District 4 school board seats. All candidates who submit bios to the Pike County Journal Reporter via will have them published prior to the election. Early voting for the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary started Monday, March 2 and will last through Friday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Office of Elections and Registration. Saturday voting will be offered as well on March 14. ’The change in time for voting is due to the process that has to occur before voting can begin each day. I would encourage voters to vote early, that way they can pick the day they want to come and vote instead of just having Election Day to vote,’ said Pike’s elections supervisor Lynn Vickers. ‘This election is a great opportunity to vote on the new machines. A picture ID is needed to vote.’  Pike County voters will use Georgia’s new secure paper-ballot system during upcoming elections and it is set up at the office of registration and elections for citizens to test out. During the elections, voters will select the candidates on the touchscreen, then review their selections before printing the ballot on paper. The paper ballots will then have to be run through a ballot scanner to record the citizen’s vote. A state grant of $207,000 for Pike County provided the equipment, tables, cords and other items needed to take care of the equipment. Pike County will receive 57 new voting machines and printers as well as 11 ballot scanners. The county will not have to purchase any extra equipment, but will see an increase in the cost of elections due to the additional poll workers who will be needed. She said an additional two to three poll workers will be needed on election day. ’The new system is going to require more poll workers because someone has to stay at the ballot scanner machine at all times,’ said Vickers. The general primary election will be held May 19 – including local offices – with a general primary runoff set for July 21. The general election for the presidential election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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