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VOTERS GUIDE: Elections office preparing for record turnout on Nov. 3

The Polk County Office of Elections and Registration has moved forward with a new way to try and cut down on wait times at the polls while also helping those with absentee ballots.

Director Lee Ann George told the board of elections last week that they will provide a way for anyone who receives an absentee ballot to bring it with them to their polling place on Nov. 3 and have the option to fill it out and place it in a secure drop box, or have it officially canceled by a poll worker and vote in person on one of the voting machines.

Taking absentee ballots at polling places is generally not done during an election. However, with a projected record turnout, a number of high-profile races on the ballot, and the increased number of absentee ballot requests in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, George said they are doing all they can to alleviate any problems.

“We are coming up with as many scenarios as we can to be prepared and make election day go faster,” she said. “Our main goal is to make sure the voter has a good experience and see that we are trying to make sure their vote is counted by whatever means possible.”

George said they hope giving people the option to fill out their absentee ballot at a polling place instead of having them wait to have it canceled and then get in line and wait to vote in person will cut down on long lines.

Brande Coggins, Polk County’s election coordinator, said while they are focusing on issues with people trying to vote twice or not being able to turn in their absentee ballot prior to 7 p.m. on election day, they also are trying to cut down on the number of in-person voters if they can.

“It’s the volume,” Coggins said.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office reports that Georgia had 7,587,625 registered voters as of Oct. 6, a day after the deadline to register and be able to vote in the Nov. 3 election.

That is a new record high and only confirms what Coggins has seen locally as Polk County now has more than 25,000 registered voters, up from just under 23,000 at the beginning of the year. Coggins said the Secretary of State’s office has projected a 60-70% voter turnout statewide for the Nov. 3 election, which roughly translates to anywhere between 14,000-16,000 voters for Polk County.

George and her staff continue to encourage voters to vote absentee or vote early in order to cut down on wait times at the polls on election day. As of last Thursday, the Polk County Elections Office had processed 3,536 absentee ballot requests and had received more than 1,500.

Ballots can be either mailed to the Polk County Elections Office, hand delivered to the office during normal business hours or put into the drop box next to the front door of the Polk County Annex Building in Cedartown, which is under 24-hour surveillance and checked twice a day, Monday through Friday.

Ballots must be received by the elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Early voting began Monday at both the Polk County Annex Building at 144 West. Ave. in Cedartown and the Nathan Dean Community Center at 604 Goodyear St. in Rockmart.

Early voting continues through Oct. 30, with the two polling sites open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Oct. 27 and 29, when they are scheduled to be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting will also be available in Polk County on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

George said an emphasis will be placed on campaigning and campaign paraphernalia in or around polling places this year.

Georgia law states a person cannot wear any campaign gear supporting a specific candidate within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building where a polling place is established, nor within any polling place or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.

This includes hats, shirts, pins, facemasks and other items.

As always, signs listing the code number and restrictions will be posted at every polling location.

CHS celebrates Homecoming Friday

School spirit will be in abundance this week at Cedartown High School as students, faculty and staff celebrate Homecoming.

While some normal events will not be happening because of efforts to maintain physical distancing, a senior representative from the homecoming court will be crowned at halftime of Friday’s varsity football game against Pickens at Doc Ayers Field.

Shooter remains at scene after killing man in Cedartown

The exact details of a shooting in Cedartown that left a man dead and the shooter cooperating with police were still being investigated late Friday afternoon.

Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome said the person who shot and killed Kevin Quillian at 201 La Vista Ave. in Cedartown around 12:45 p.m. on Friday remained on the scene and was cooperative from the start.

According to Cedartown Police, Quillian, 40, was killed by a gunshot wound and pronounced dead at the scene. Police made it clear in the release there was no threat to public safety and the shooter had been identified and was cooperating with them in the investigation.

Newsome said no charges had been filed and he could not say whether or not the shooting was accidental. He added that they would release further information concerning the shooting early in the week.

Quillian, from Cedartown, had been involved in previous instances with police, including in March, 2010, when he was allegedly shot in the upper part of his leg following an altercation with his father at a residence on the corner of Blanche Road and La Vista Avenue.

Previously Posted:

Cedartown Police reported that a man was shot and killed Friday afternoon.

According to a statement sent out by the city of Cedartown:

Kevin Quillian, 40, was killed by a gunshot wound and pronounced dead at the scene of a shooting at 201 Lavista Ave.

Police are investigating the shooting death but say there is no threat to public safety. The shooter has been identified and is cooperating with law enforcement.

No further information is available. More details will be added as they come in.

Group submits new ag center proposal to county

A new, revised proposal to build an agriculture education center near the center of Polk County has put new emphasis on trying to get the county’s help in making it a reality.

Jeff Hawkins with the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association, along with other members and agriculture teachers from both Rockmart and Cedartown schools, presented the proposal during the Polk County Commission’s work session on Monday, Oct. 5.

The delegation requested the county commit $600,000 for property, architectural drawings, and relative engineering and environmental studies to get the project off of the ground. The money would go toward the purchase of 13.16 acres of land in the Fish Creek area near U.S. 278 and Bethlehem Road.

Hawkins said a group of residents called Friends of Agriculture, which has been provisionally approved for non-profit status, would then step in to raise $1 million for the project while also working together with the county to finish the facility at a remaining estimated cost of $3 million.

Commissioners discussed the project with Hawkins but ultimately did not take up the issue during their business meeting on Oct. 6.

“Obviously this has been an issue and topic of discussion for months on months, and for some of the commissioners in the past, myself included, it’s boiled down to whether it is a wanted or needed item,” Commission Chairman Hal Floyd said.

“This is more than we’ve had in the past, and I think it’s worth a look at.”

Commissioner Linda Liles, who owns a small cattle farm, said she appreciated Hawkins and the group presenting the revised proposal, but noted that they would have to take it to the commission’s finance committee first for it to be properly considered.

Hawkins reiterated that agriculture was one of the main industries in Polk County and the center would have many uses, from an outdoor livestock area to an indoor multi-purpose arena, classrooms, a commercial kitchen for hands-on nutrition classes and a cannery.

“To me, I look at this as a benefit for Polk County residents,” Hawkins said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought more people back to agriculture, if just on a small scale.

“So to have something like this would be an educational advantage for residents. I understand you’ve got to look at the budgets, but look at it as a break-even deal and providing a service to the community.”

Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 edition

Polk County Outreach Ministries, Inc. will distribute free food boxes at Turner Street Center, 254 Turner St., in Cedartown, on Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed and volunteers will bring boxes to cars. For more information call 706-409-5572 or 678-986-1939.

The Cedartown Exchange Club is hosting a rummage sale and car show at the Polk County Fairgrounds Oct. 17 to benefit the Cedartown Exchange Club Scholarship Program. The event is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $2 per vehicle. Slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $25. Throttle Jockeys will have a car show with prizes of $150, $100 and $50. Hand sanitizer will be available at every booth. For more information and to register for a slot visit https://www.cedartownexchangeclub.com/2020-rummage-sale.

Kresge United Methodist Church, 15 Booger Hollow Road, will host a drive-thru trunk or treat event Oct. 31 from 5-6:30 p.m. Goodie bags will be handed out under the church’s portico with visitors staying in their vehicles.

The Cedartown Recreation Department will begin online registration for the upcoming youth basketball season Nov. 1 at www.cedartownrec.org. In-person registration will be held at certain dates in November at the Nathan Dean Gym at Bert Wood Park, 605 Lynton Drive, in Cedartown. The in-person dates are Nov. 9, 10, and 12 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 16, 17, and 19 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Nov. 23 and 24 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registration is $40 per child and is open to boys and girls ages 5-12. For more information call 770-748-7783.

Market on Main is coming up this fall on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Cedartown. The annual festival on Main Street will showcase a variety of vendors, along with the annual parade, dog contest, kid’s activities, food and more. Visit Cedartowngeorgia.gov to find updates on Market on Main.

Tallatoona CAP is accepting appointments for the LIHEAP CARES Cooling Assistance Program for the general public for assistance with their electric bill. All households that did not receive LIHEAP CARES Cooling Assistance during the month of July are eligible to apply. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.tallatoonacap.org or call 770-817-4666, option 2, or 770-773-7730, option 2.

The Northwest Georgia Center for Independent Living holds a COVID-19 Peer Support call every Monday at 2 p.m. via the Zoom website and by phone. For the link and password, or if you need assistance, contact Christina Holtzclaw at 628-246-1825 or choltzclaw@nwgacil.org.

The NWGA Center for Independent Living is offering free Personal Protection CARE Kits to people with disabilities who live in Northwest Georgia. The kits include three face masks, two disposable thermometers, give pair of gloves and alcohol wipes. To request a kit and become a consumer, contact the center at 706-314-0008 or info@nwgacil.org.

The Rockmart Farmers Market is back in business, though with social distancing and sanitation guidelines in effect. Come take part in the market on Waters Street in downtown Rockmart on Thursdays starting at 2 p.m. Find weekly updates about available produce and more at facebook.com/rockmartfarmersmarkert.

Milltown Music Hall has information on shows that are being scheduled for this summer at milltownmusichall.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.