Opinion

February 1, 2014

Remember Tuesday’s runoff election

With headlines over the past few weeks being dominated by snowstorms, the president’s State of the Union speech and Justin Bieber getting arrested, it might be easy to forget that there’s a special election runoff for state House of Representatives District 2 going on.

Voters in District 2 — which includes Trichum, Tunnel Hill and Westside in Whitfield County, as well as parts of Catoosa and Walker counties — go to the polls on Tuesday.

But citizens have also been participating in early voting for the past four weeks. According to the Whitfield County elections office, 21 people had come into the office to vote and another 23 had requested absentee ballots as of Friday afternoon. By comparison, some 5,500 Whitfield County residents are registered to vote in District 2, and 316 actually voted in the special election on Jan. 7.

Pharmacist and former LaFayette mayor Neal Florence and businessman and former Chickamauga City Council member and school board member Steve Tarvin, both Republicans, are in the nonpartisan runoff for the unexpired term of Jay Neal, which concludes at the end of this year. Neal, a Republican, stepped down in November after being appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry, which helps integrate prison inmates into society.

Tarvin and Florence finished first and second respectively in the three-way special election, with Tarvin taking 38.17 percent of the vote and Florence 34.29 percent.

If you live in District 2 and are registered to vote, please take this opportunity to cast your ballot. You don’t have to have voted in the runoff to vote in the special election.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, though those in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote after 7.

Voters must show an accepted form 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 a 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.

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