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Absentee voting begins today for presidential primary

CONYERS -- Absentee voting by mail begins today for the Presidential Preference Primary and two local referendums on Sunday alcohol sales.

Voters wishing to cast a ballot by mail may do so starting today through the Friday before the March 6 election. Eligible voters may request a by-mail absentee ballot without providing a reason or identification. Those registered to vote in Georgia for the first time without providing the required photo identification must do so before requesting an absentee ballot by mail.

The March 6 election will include presidential candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties. President Barack Obama is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot.

The Republican ballot lists nine candidates, although some have dropped out of the race since the ballot was set. As of Thursday the remaining Republican presidential candidates are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former speaker of the house and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

The March 6 ballot also has two referendums asking voters whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales. One referendum is for Rockdale County and the other is for the city of Conyers.

Rockdale County Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch said voters inside the city of Conyers will have the opportunity to vote on both the city and county Sunday sales referendums since city residents are also residents within the county.

Welch said the projected voter turnout for the March 6 election is 47 percent of the county's 47,168 active voters.

Welch explained the dual referendums will appear only on ballots for the two precincts inside the city of Conyers.

The 180-day period for absentee ballots allows voters in the military or overseas to cast a ballot. The request can be sent by mail, fax or email.

Mail: Rockdale County Board of Elections and Voter Registration: Attn: Absentee Ballot, 1400 Parker Road, Lobby C, Conyers, Ga. 30094.

Fax: 770-785-6932.

Email: absentee@rockdalecounty.org.

Absentee ballot request forms can be picked up at the Board of Elections office or can be mailed out. The request forms can also be downloaded and printed from the Board of Elections web page at www.rockdalecounty.org and clicking on the "Voting and Elections" tab.

Also, in-person absentee voting will begin Monday, Feb. 13, and continues on weekdays through Friday, March 2. The county will open polls for Saturday voting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 25. All in-person voting will take place at the Board of Elections office at 1400 Parker Road.