In Catoosa County, the Nov. 3 general election ballot will include one local contested race: Board of Commissioners chairman Steven Henry, a Republican, is facing off against Democrat Ernie Pursley.
However, there are several certified write-in candidates for Board of Commissioners races: Nick Ware for chairman in the race between Henry and Pursley; Greg Bentley for the District 1 seat against Republican Jeff Long; and Terry Crawford the District 3 seat against Republican Vanita Hullander.
The ballot will also include some other high-interest contested races, including the presidential race, the crowded race to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, and the U.S. Senate race between Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue and Libertarian Shane Hazel.
Voting via absentee ballot
Voters can complete the request for an absentee ballot from the Catoosa County Board of Elections and Registration. The Catoosa County elections office deadline to mail out absentee ballots is Friday, Oct. 30. The office closes at 5 p.m. and election officials caution that waiting this late is “cutting it close.” The completed ballot must be in the hands of election officials by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Completed absentee ballot applications can be returned via mail, email, fax or in person.
Completed absentee ballots can be returned via mail or dropped off in person; they cannot be returned via fax or email.
♦ By mail or in person: Freedom Center, 5238 Evitt St., Ringgold (where you will find a secure ballot dropbox). If you mail your ballot back, don’t forget to put postage on it: one first class stamp.
♦ By email: email@example.com
♦ By fax: 706-935-2538
If someone else delivers your ballot for you, they must be related to you in one of the following ways: mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, individual residing in the same household as the voter, caretaker of the voter if the voter is disabled. No one else can legally deliver your ballot.
You must sign the back of the return envelope on absentee ballots. If you don’t, your ballot will have to be verified. If someone has helped you fill out your ballot, there is a place on the back of the return envelope where they must sign.
Need an absentee ballot? Call the elections office at 706-935-3990 or go online to https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Fillable%20Absentee%20Ballot%20Form%2020.pdf.
If you prefer to vote in person before election day, there are two precincts open for early voting: the Freedom Center at 5238 Evitt St. near downtown Ringgold and the Westside voting precinct at 3319 Lakeview Drive in Rossville.
Early voting is open Monday through Friday, Oct. 12-30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — except for Thursday, Oct. 29, when the two locations will be open for extended hours, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The two locations will also be open for early voting on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Election day voting
For those wanting to cast a ballot and who did not vote early or via absentee, you must vote at your assigned precinct on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. If you aren’t sure which precinct that is, you can visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or call the elections office at 706-935-3990.
Catoosa has 11 voting precincts, which will be open on Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
♦ Blackstock, 773 Gordy Circle, Tunnel Hill
♦ Boynton, 4057 Boynton Drive, Ringgold
♦ Catoosa Keith, 2803 Keith Road, Ringgold
♦ Chambers, 4346 Long Hollow Road, Ringgold (across from Napier’s Store)
♦ Fort Oglethorpe (Constitution Hall), 205 Forrest Road, Fort Oglethorpe
♦ Graysville, 967 Graysville Road, Ringgold
♦ Lakeview, 452 Hudson St., Rossville
♦ Poplar Springs, 479 Rollins Industrial Court, Ringgold
♦ Ringgold, Freedom Center (formerly known as the Nutrition Center), 5238 Evitt St., Ringgold. Office-706-935-3990. Freedom Center also houses the Catoosa County Elections and Voter Registration Department.
♦ Westside, 3319 Lakeview Drive, Rossville (next to Westside Elementary School)
♦ Woodstation, 36 East Nickajack Road, Ringgold
If you change your mind about voting absentee
If you received an absentee ballot and change your mind and decide to vote in person, you will have to bring your blank absentee ballot with you to a polling location or you will have to go to a polling location and request in writing that your unsubmitted absentee ballot be canceled. A poll worker will have to call the elections office to verify that you did not submit a ballot.