Rep. John Meadows

Meadows, who served as chairman of the powerful rules committee in the House and as the mayor of Calhoun, had just won a re-election bid in the District 5 race before he died following a battle with stomach cancer last month.

Qualifying for the special election opens Wednesday and closes Friday at Secretary of State Elections Division office, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, West Tower Suite 802, Atlanta. Hours for qualifying are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. The qualifying fee is $400.

If no candidate receives the more than 50 percent needed to win the election outright on Jan. 8, then a runoff election will be held Feb. 5.

For voters, the last day to register to vote in the special election is Dec. 12. A voter registration application can be picked up at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration office at 215 N. Wall St. or found on its website. Voters can also visit the Georgia My Voter Page to register online.