early voting

Early voting for the November general election begins Monday, Oct. 15, in Walker County but only at the county courthouse on Duke Street in LaFayette.

Courthouse balloting will continue 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 2. Voting is also available at the courthouse on one Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

County voters also may cast their early ballots on Saturday, Oct. 27, and Monday, Oct. 29, through Nov. 2 at these other Walker County locations: Chickamauga Civic Center, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Lookout Mountain City Hall, and the Rossville Municipal Civic Center. Poll hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The most important local issue on the ballot is the form of government for the future of the county. Voters in Walker will have the choice of keeping a sole commissioner form of government or switching to a board of commissioners.

The referendum reads: “Shall the governing authority of Walker County be changed from a sole commissioner to a five-member board of commissioners with the chairperson elected at large and four commissioners elected by district?”

Voters are required to present an acceptable ID at the poll for either early voting or on Nov. 6. This may be a valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS); a Georgia driver's license, even if expired; a valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state; a valid U.S. passport ID; a valid U.S. military photo ID; or a valid tribal photo ID.

Voters who wish to vote by mail may apply by submitting an application to the Walker County Elections Office at P.O. Box 1105, LaFayette, GA 30728, by emailing an application to elections@walkerga.us or by faxing an application to 706-639-3346. Applications are available at www.walkercountyelections.com. Mailed ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Officials are hoping for and expecting a strong turnout of the county’s approximately 35,000 registered voters for this important midterm election. In the 2016 general election, 24,509 (74.38 percent) of the county's 32,951 registered voters cast ballots either on or in advance of Election Day.

Dee Decker is editorial assistant and reporter for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga, and for the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

editorial assitant/reporter