Friday is last day to vote early

A large number of Grady County voters took advantage of the one day of Saturday voting last weekend with 322 casting their ballot.
“By 9:05 a.m. we had a line to the front door and it didn’t trail off until after 1 p.m.,” said Grady County Chief Registrar Jean Marshall.
According to the registrar, 200 had voted in less than two hours. The courthouse was open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday for early voting.
The early voting continues through this Friday at 5 p.m., but for those who prefer to vote at their respective polling place, the county’s 13 precincts will be opened and manned from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Ms. Marshall reported that during the last election only 75 voters cast ballots on the one day of Saturday voting.
“People are determined to vote and they are voting early,” she said.
As of the close of business Tuesday, 3,495 votes have already been cast. A total of 352 absentee ballots have been requested and of those 223 have already been returned for processing, according to Ms. Marshall.
In the general election four years ago 72 percent of registered voters, nearly 9,400, cast ballots, but Marshall is predicting a 75 percent turnout by election day.
Statewide early voting totals reported Monday by the Secretary of State’s office was nearly one million.
There are three contested local races on the Nov. 6 ballot including sheriff, District 1 school board and District 3 school board.
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young, running as a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Earl Stuckey.
Sheriff Young is seeking his third term of office.
The District 1 school board election features Democrat Mike Russell and Republican Jeff Worsham, both of whom are new to local politics.
In the District 3 school board race, Republican Allen Jenkins, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Byron Puckett, faces Democrat Marty Cannington.
The Nov. 6 ballot will also feature the State House of Representatives District 173 contest between incumbent Republican Representative Darlene Taylor and Democrat Haley Shank.
Topping the ballot is the race for president between President Barack Obama and challengers Republican Mitt Romney and Libertarian Gary Johnson.
U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican John House.
Two Public Service Commission posts are up for election. In the first race, incumbent Chuck Eaton is being challenged by Stephen Oppenheimer, a Democrat, and Brad Ploeger, a Libertarian.
In the second race, incumbent Republican Stan Wise is being challenged by Libertarian David Staples.
Two constitutional amendments will appear on the ballot including the hotly debated amendment regarding charter schools.
On the charter school question voters will be asked, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”
The second amendment question is “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide for a reduction in the state’s operating costs by allowing the General Assembly to authorize certain state agencies to enter into multiyear rental agreements?”
For more information about voting, call the registrar’s office at 229-377-1897.

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