Early voting is in full swing for the March 1 Presidential preference primary, including this Saturday, Feb. 20.  

The board of elections and registration will be open this Saturday, Feb. 20, for those who would like to cast a ballot. The board of elections office is located at the courthouse annex at 312 Nichols Street. 

“We encourage everyone to come in and cast their vote,” says Leah Williamson, county elections supervisor.

Early voting has been underway for about two weeks and will continue through Friday, Feb. 26.

Advanced voting has been slow with 104 early votes cast in person and 54 absentees mailed in.

Georgia’s presidential preference primaries will take place Tuesday, March 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 

There will be no voting Monday, February 29. 

Voters may participate in early voting for any reason. Voters must bring identification to vote. Driver’s licenses will be the main form of acceptable ID, but a voter ID card can be made free of charge at the registrar’s office. 

Voters must declare party preference in the primaries. Voters will select their preference for the Democratic and Republican nomination for president. Presidential preference will be the only item on the ballot.

Both fields have shrunk since Georgia’s ballots were printed.

There are 13 candidates listed on the Republican ballot, but only  six are still actively seeking the nomination. 

Active candidates include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Cardiologist Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and businessman Donald Trump.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, Former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee, former New York Governor George Pataki, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum have since dropped out of the race since ballots were printed. 

Four candidates are listed on the Democratic ballot, but only three are still actively campaigning. 

Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Florida attorney Michael Steinberg are all running on the Democratic ticket. 

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has since withdrawn from the race.

Georgia is one of seven southern or border states holding a primary or caucus that day, which has been dubbed the SEC primary. All of the states participating are in, or close to, the Southeastern Conference in college football. In addition to Georgia, they include Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

An estimated 9,400 residents in Pierce County are eligible to vote. Turnout in the last presidential preference primary in 2012 was only about 26 percent.