Floyd County voters have through Oct. 30 to cast early ballots in person, with a choice of two locations open to include the weekends. A third opens Monday for weekdays only.
All precincts will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3, but voters will have to go to their assigned location then.
The contest drawing the most attention is the presidential race. Two U.S. Senate seats also are on the ballot, with one almost guaranteed to go into a runoff, along with two Public Service Commission seats.
Locally, there are five contested races to decide. Votes are countywide for Floyd County Commission posts 2 and 3 and state Senate District 52 — which also encompasses parts of Bartow, Chattooga and Gordon counties.
Only voters in western Floyd County will weigh in on the fifth race. House District 12 also covers all of Chattooga County. Two other state representatives are unopposed for reelection: District 13 Rep. Katie Dempsey, in Rome and the surrounding unincorporated area, and District 14 Rep. Mitchell Scoggins in southern Floyd and part of Bartow County.
Candidates in the locally contested races answer questions in this edition of the Rome News-Tribune. It also contains information about various aspects of the election, including the ballot questions and unprecedented turnout.
The primary battle to replace U.S. Rep Tom Graves as Northwest Georgia’s congressional delegate was intense but there is no contest in the Nov. 3 general election. Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene is the only certified candidate after Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal withdrew. His name still remains on the ballot but votes for him will not be counted.
A number of other local candidates — all Republicans — will cement their wins in the general election and start new four-year terms in January.
Dave Roberson, the only countywide political newcomer, is unopposed to succeed Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter, who is retiring at the end of the year. Floyd County Board of Education member Danny Waits is already appointed to serve out the remaining term of Melinda Jeffers, who resigned Aug. 31. He was the only candidate who qualified to run for the seat.
Also on the ballot unopposed are District Attorney Leigh Patterson, Tax Commissioner Kevin Payne and County Coroner Gene Proctor.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday that turnout for early voting statewide is breaking records. As of noon, over 1.2 million ballots had been cast, compared to 538,695 cast as of the close of polls at the same point in 2016.
The bulk of the increase is from mailed-in absentee ballots that have been accepted, up by over 700%, but in-person voting also is up by 62%, he said.
Floyd County in person voting is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave., and Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle. Both sites also are open weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — except the church will only be available Sunday after 1 p.m.
A third site opens Monday at the Floyd County Health Department, 16 E. 12th St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday.
Absentee ballots may be returned by the U.S. Postal Service or in drop boxes set up on the side of the County Administration Building and in front of the Rome-Floyd County Library, 205 Riverside Parkway.