October 31, 2013

Still time to vote early

The Daily Citizen

— Tuesday is Election Day in Dalton, Cohutta and Varnell, but you don’t have to wait until then to cast your vote.

You can do it today or Friday, the final two days of early voting.

And why not, the weather will be nice, there won’t be any lines, and you can do it at your convenience and not have to make time on Tuesday. All early voting is done at the Whitfield County Courthouse during normal business hours.

Granted, none of the ballots are very long. To recap:

• In Dalton, there are two contested races, one for City Council and one for Dalton Board of Education, as well as one uncontested race for each board.

For alderman, Ward 3, incumbent Gary Crews faces a challenge from J.K. Ware. Tate O’Gwin is unopposed for Ward 2.

On the school board, Steve Laird and Pablo Perez are seeking a seat while Sherwood Jones III is running unopposed.

• In Cohutta, the ballot includes Ron Shinnick for mayor, and the only contested race is for two seats on the Town Council. The two top vote-getters from among Greg Fowler, Wesley Mahan or incumbent Ben Manis will take the two posts.

• In Varnell, there are four positions open, but only two are contested. Anthony N. Hulsey faces David Owens for mayor, and Jan Pourquoi faces off with Michael Willocks for City Council Seat 2.

Ashlee N. Godfrey is running unopposed for Seat 1 on the council and Nancy Nelson is unopposed for Seat 5.

Remember to take a photo ID to the polls. The state allows six forms of valid photo ID. These include a Georgia driver’s license, even if expired; any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Department of Driver Services; a valid passport; a valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government, the state of Georgia or any county, municipality, board, authority or other state entity; a valid U.S. military photo ID; or a valid tribal photo ID.

The ballots may be shorter than usual and turnout is expected to be low, but your vote in these races can go a long way in shaping our local governments.