Early voting is now underway and Georgia voters can cast ballots through Friday, Oct. 29, and then on election day which is Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Three hotly contest local races will likely dominate the political scene here, but also up for election are offices including U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, insurance commissioner, state school superintendent, labor commissioner and public service commissioner.
Topping the local races is the contest between incumbent State Court Judge Bill Bass and challenger Joshua C. Bell.
Bass is seeking his third term on the bench. Bell, a municipal court judge for Cairo, Whigham, Climax, Attapulgus and Bainbridge, is running for public office for the very first time.
The race for the District 2 seat on the Grady County commission is another closely watched race. Commission Vice Chairman Charles Renaud, the incumbent and a certified appraiser, is being challenged by Billy Poitevint, a sheet metal fabricator.
District 5 County Commissioner Bobby Burns is retiring, and T.D. David and Cecil Rash are vying for his seat. David is the controller of Ira Higdon Grocery Company and Rash is the retired finance director for the city of Cairo.
Also looming large this election cycle is the selection of two state representatives to the Georgia General Assembly.
Incumbent Republican Representative Eugene Maddox is being challenged by retired educator Dr. Marjean Boyd for the Dist. 172 post.
A small portion of eastern Grady County is in Dist. 173 and voters in those precincts will decide between Republican Darlene Taylor and Democrat Haley Shank.
The incumbent Dist. 173 State Rep Mike Keown chose not to seek re-election to the legislature and is challenging longtime congresssman Sanford D. Bishop.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, according to elections officials, 63 voters had cast early votes, 41 had voted absentee and 39 military ballots had been cast for a total of 143 votes.
The early voting is conducted in the registrar’s office on the first floor of the courthouse between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
submitted by Chief Registrar Lizzie Garrette
Why do we vote on Tuesdays? There is an historical sensibility to this choice. According to the Federal Election Commission, “since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable since many people would need to begin travel on Sunday. This would, of course, have conflicted with church services and Sunday worship.” And with respect to the November elections, lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1 is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the first day of the month. Lawmakers were concerned that this might influence elections.
Now to the Bolts (Frequently Asked Questions)
We have 45 days of Early Voting. This is conducted in the courthouse on the first floor and is wheelchair accessible. You may vote early Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The last day for early voting is Oct. 29. The last day to register to vote and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 2 general election is Monday, Oct. 4.
There is a lot of information to share with you, so tune in next week!