Opinion

June 24, 2014

Remember the runoffs

We asked earlier this year, following the May 20 primaries, that voters not forget the runoffs that resulted from the results that day, and that is still important.

With early voting for the runoffs beginning Monday, residents of both Whitfield and Murray counties have a chance to weigh in on these races over a period of three weeks in advance of the July 22 runoff date.

Early voting allows you to determine when you will head to the polls, at your convenience. By voting early, you don’t have to worry that something could intervene on Election Day that might cause you to miss your chance to vote.

And voting is a very important civic duty. If you want to see government perform at its highest level then it’s important that the right people are in office to make that happen, and you have a chance to determine who those people are. It’s the way our system works, but for it to work best citizens need to participate.

In both Whitfield and Murray counties, early voting continues through July 18.

In Whitfield County, early voting occurs at the Registrar’s Office, 205 N. Selvidge St., Suite K, in Dalton. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In Murray County, early voting occurs at the Courthouse Annex, 121 N. Fourth Ave. in Chatsworth. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For whatever reasons, runoffs typically have much lower turnout than the primaries and general elections that precede them. Yet the runoffs this July 22 feature a Superior Court judge position in the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, which includes both Whitfield and Murray counties, and a seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. The individuals who hold these positions make decisions that could directly impact the lives of you or a family member, or a neighbor or a friend. These are important positions and those eligible to vote should take the opportunity to have a say in who holds them.

And the Superior Court judge race is nonpartisan, which means either incumbent David Blevins or Dalton Municipal Court Judge Jim Wilbanks will be elected on July 22.

In the Whitfield commissioner’s race, where Renee Davis faces Barry Robbins for the Republican nomination for District 1, no Democrat qualified, so the winner of that runoff will most likely take office in January.

And there are also some statewide runoffs, including for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate between U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah and Macon businessman David Perdue. With the GOP hoping to take over the Senate next year, this race is being closely watched nationally.

Please take advantage of early voting, or make plans to vote on the runoff day. Don’t waste your opportunity.

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