CAIRO — Early voting for the June 9 general primary election began Monday, and Grady County elections supervisor Denise Maddox said the number of voters choosing to cast their ballots by mail is significantly higher than normal.

A total of 234 votes have been cast so far at the Grady County courthouse as of Friday morning, a number Maddox said is “maybe a little slower” than usual. That’s in comparison to more than 1,500 absentee ballots her office has received so far.

“I have never in my 10 years here had more than approximately 600 (mail-in ballots),” Maddox said. 

That previous high mark came during the 2018 general election.

On the ballot are multiple competitive primary contests for local offices including sheriff, tax commissioner and multiple seats on the Grady County Board of Commissioners. A countywide referendum on whether to approve a transportation special purpose local option sales tax (TSPLOST) will also be on the ballot.

In Cairo, which is simultaneously holding a special election to determine its next mayor, City Clerk Dana Barfield said 56 residents have voted early in-person at the Grady Cultural Center. Just eight absentee ballots have been mailed in as of Friday, though Barfield said ballots, which were mailed out Monday, may start coming back in greater numbers next week.

Early votes can be cast between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Grady County courthouse for the county elections and at the Grady Cultural Center for the city election.

The early voting period will conclude June 5.

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