Dearing’s Community Center closed for early voting


MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Election Day for Georgia’s general primary and the presidential primary is quickly approaching. Early voting will continue in McDuffie County May 26, but there are some changes due to a short staff in the elections office.

There are three people who work full-time in McDuffie County’s election office but two have tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, you won’t be able to vote early at the scheduled polling place in Dearing.

“We’re only mandated by law to have one polling place open, so I’m still covered,” said Phyllis Brooks, Director of Elections.

Georgia’s Secretary of State office has been in contact with Brooks. She said, “I have not reached out to other counties, and I probably won’t until I feel like I’m getting to a point where I just can’t do it. Which I really don’t see as happening, but you never know.”

The two workers are at home in quarantine and are doing well, according to Brooks. This isn’t her first time where she’s has had to get all the work done herself since starting her career with McDuffie County in 1991.

She explained, “The first five years I was there by myself, so that’s why I guess I’m not in panic mode. I got it done and I’ll get it done even though things are different these days.”

While you can’t vote early in Dearing, you can cast your ballot at the precinct on Main Street. It’s in the old Thomson High-Middle School gym across from The Brickyard.

“People are doing the vote by mail. (Closing) Dearing may make more people vote by mail. If not, then they’ll just travel to Thomson,” said Brooks.

In the meantime, Brooks is waiting for COVID-19 results to come back for temporary workers.

She said, “Be patient – we’re all trying to work things out. Make sure the process goes like it should and everything is working the way it’s supposed to. Even with the situations we run into, at the end of the day, we’re doing what’s best for everyone and what we have to get the election process to where it needs to be.”

Brooks added the elections office is being cleaned. The poll station in Dearing will reopen on election day, June 9. Early voting ends June 5.

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