You can vote this Saturday

Early voting continues this week and local election officials are gearing up for what could be a busy day of Saturday voting this weekend.
Lots of activity is taking place downtown with the Great Southern Antique Car Rally this weekend and election officials believe that could translate into lots of voters dropping by to cast ballots between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Grady County Registrar Jean Marshall has described early voting up to this point as “extremely slow.”
She told Grady County commissioners Tuesday morning that voters are accustomed to primary elections being held in July, but she noted the date was moved up this year for the first time.
“I’m worried people think this is a special election and they may show up to vote in the summer and it will be too late,” Ms. Marshall said.
As of the close of business Tuesday afternoon a total of only 356 ballots had been cast. Of that total, 261 voted republican ballots and 95 voted democratic.
The big local contested races are in the republican primary and the nonpartisan general election.
Voters who wish to vote in the race between incumbent State Representative Darlene Taylor of Thomasville and retired University of Georgia Extension Agent Don Clark must request a republican ballot.
Likewise, local voters in Grady County District 2 who want to vote on who will serve as their representative on the county commission must also request a republican ballot. There is a three man race for the republican nomination for District 2 commissioner between incumbent Commissioner Billy Poitevint, Richard Powell and Ray Prince.
There are no local races on the democratic ballot, but there are a number of statewide races on both the democratic and republican ballots for statewide offices.
Democratic voters will choose between O. Steen Miles, M. Michelle Nunn, Branko Radulovacki, and Todd A. Robinson for the democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
Democrats also must choose between Gerald Beckum and Doreen Carter for Secretary of State and Keith Heard and Elizabeth Johnson for Insurance Commissioner.
A field of six democrats are seeking their party’s nomination for state school superintendent including Tarnisha Dent, Marion Freeman, Jurita Mays, Alisha Morgan, R. Rita Robinzine, and Valarie Wilson.
Republicans must select from a field of seven candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the United States Senate. Candidates include Paul Broun, Arthur Gardner, Phil Gingrey, Derrick Grayson, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, and David Perdue.
Governor Nathan Deal has two candidates opposing him in the republican primary. John Barge, the current state school superintendent, and David Pennington are challenging Deal for the republican nomination for governor. The winner will face democrat Jason Carter and libertarian Andrew Hunt in the November general election.
The greatest number of candidates in any election on this year’s ballot is for the republican nomination for state school superintendent. A total of nine candidates are vying to replace Barge including Mary Bacallao, Ashley Bell, Michael Buck, Sharyl Dawes, Allen Fort, Nancy Jester, T. Fitz Johnson, Kira Willis and Richard Woods.
Another primary contest on the republican ballot is for Public Service commissioner in which incumbent Lauren W. “Bubba” McDonald is being challenged by Douglas Kidd and Charles Lutz.
Two republicans are seeking to represent Georgia’s Second Congressional District in the 114th Congress. Vivian Childs faces Gregory Duke. The winner will face veteran Congressman Sanford Bishop, the lone democrat in the primary, in the November general election.
The only contest in the nonpartisan general election to be held May 20 is Judge of the State Court of Grady County which features Josh Bell, Todd Butler and Jami Lewis.
A sample ballot can be found published in this edition of The Cairo Messenger.
Early voting continues through next Friday, May 16 at the courthouse. Election day is Tuesday, May 20 and the county’s 13 polling places will be open that day from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for voting.

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