Voters can cast their ballots starting Monday at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office as the early voting period for the Nov. 6 general election gets underway.
The office at 215 N. Wall St. will be the only location for the early voting period, which runs from Monday to Nov. 2 — the hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be a Saturday opportunity for early voting, with the office opening on Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We are expecting a pretty good turn out,” said Shea Hicks, the Gordon County Board of Elections chairperson, as voters decide on the next governor as well as a number of statewide offices, local races and constitutional amendments. “It’s been so busy in here.”
Hicks estimated anywhere from 13,000 to 15,000 voters out of 32,013 of those eligible are expected to take part this election season. For the 2014 general election, a total of 10,476 people cast ballots in the county, she said.
“We have grown a lot,” she said of the number of registered voters in the county.
During that 2014 election, Hicks said a total of 374 absentee by mail ballots were submitted. But more than 350 ballots have already been mailed out so far for this election, she said.
“We’ve seen just as much interest in this election as we did in 2016,” when voters decided on the country’s next president. “I think it’s been busier.”
Voters should try and vote early during the week or take advantage of Saturday voting to avoid any possible wait-times during what Hicks expects to be a busy election day.
Those wishing for an absentee ballot by mail can go online to gordoncounty.org and print out an application on the board of elections page or call 706-629-7781. Ballots have to be returned, either in person or by mail, to the elections office on or before Nov. 6. The elections office webpage also has access to sample ballots and other election related materials for voters.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on election day and will close at 7 p.m. Voters are encouraged to go to the MyVoterPage on the secretary of state’s website — visit mvp.sos.ga.gov — to verify their polling location beforehand.
Voters will decide between Republican Brian Kemp, Democrat Stacey Abrams or Libertarian Ted Metz to replace Gov. Nathan Deal. Other statewide races include the one for lieutenant governor between Republican Geoff Duncan and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico. Additional statewide offices on the ballot are attorney general, secretary of state, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor and public service commissioner.
Voters will decide the District 14 Congressional race between Republican incumbent Tom Graves and Democrat Steven Lamar Foster.
State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, is being challenged by Democrat Evan Ross for the District 52 seat, and Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, is being opposed by Democrat Michael S. Morgan for the District 54 seat.
Two races for the District 5 and 11 seats in the House will also be decided, with Rep. John Meadows, R-Calhoun, up against Brian Rosser in the former, and Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, facing a challenge from Democrat Lee Shiver.
Locally, only one county commissioner seat and one county board of education post had to wait until November to be decided. Commissioner Chad Steward, the Republican incumbent, and Democrat Arthene Bressler are the two choices for the District 2 commission seat. Post 3 on the county board of education comes down to Republican incumbent Dana Stewart and challenger Allen Dutch, a Democrat.