COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County will begin a seven-day Advance Voting period on Saturday, Nov. 26, for the runoff election between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, R-Ga., and Herschel Walker.
The county Elections and Voter Registration office will offer in-person Advance Voting beginning Saturday, Nov. 26, only at Turner Lake following a vote by the Newton County Board of Elections during a special called meeting Monday, said Chairman Phil Johnson.
The decision on Saturday advance voting was left to individual counties after the Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday, Nov. 23, denied a challenge by the Georgia Republican Party, Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had appealed a Fulton County Superior Court judge's ruling last week that holding early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day is legal and may proceed, Capitol Beat News Service reported.
The Secretary of State's office indicated shortly after the Nov. 8 election that placed Warnock and Republican challenger Walker into a runoff that Saturday, Nov. 26, would be set aside for early voting.
However, Raffensperger subsequently declared that holding early voting that day would violate a state law that prohibits runoffs on any day immediately following a state holiday. Besides Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 24, the following day, Nov. 25, is a state holiday.
The Warnock campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Party of Georgia filed a lawsuit arguing the law the secretary of state cited applies to primary and general elections but not to runoffs, Capitol Beat reported.
A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled late last week in favor of the plaintiffs, and the state Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Monday, Capitol Beat reported.
Newton County will offer in-person Advance Voting Saturday and Sunday only at Turner Lake. It will offer it at two locations — Turner Lake and Prospect Church — Monday, Nov. 28, through Friday, Dec. 2.
Advance Voting days and locations for the runoff are:
Turner Lake, 6185 Turner Lake Road NW, Covington:
• Saturday, Nov. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 27: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 28, through Thursday, Dec. 1, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Friday, Dec. 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Prospect Church at Oak Hill, 6752 Highway 212, Covington:
• Monday, Nov. 28, through Friday, Dec. 1, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Voters also can download and print an Absentee Ballot Application (PDF) from the Georgia Secretary of State’s website or request an application from the Newton County Board of Elections Office, according to the elections office's website.
A request for an absentee ballot may be received no earlier than 78 days prior to date of the primary or election, or runoff election. No reason is required when requesting a ballot by mail.
Newton County's absentee ballot dropbox is only accessible in the front office of the Board of Elections Office at 1113 Usher St., Suite 103, Covington.
Election Day for the U.S. Senate runoff will be Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the county's regularly assigned voting precincts.
For more information, call 770-784-2055 or visit https://www.co.newton.ga.us/167/Board-of-Elections-Registration.