Once the polls officially close at 7 p.m. Nugget reporters will be awaiting results at the old county courthouse. As soon as we get them, we'll post them here. So keep checking back. We'll have your election totals tonight.
If the last Primary election is any indication of how this year’s voting will go, the polls will be a busy place. In 2008, 47.47 percent of active voters cast ballots, either through early voting, absentee or at the polls.
As of Monday afternoon only about 13 percent of Lumpkin County’s 14,491 active registered voters had cast a ballot either by early voting or mailing in an absentee ballot.
More may take advantage of early voting between now and Friday, July 27 when early voting closes at 5 p.m. And more absentee ballots may arrive in the elections office by July 31, the cutoff day for them to be returned. But quite a few voters will have to take advantage of one of the alternative means of voting to reach the 2008 percentage of voters who cast a ballot.
Up for grabs in this election are two District County Commission seats as well as the Chairman’s seat. Two candidates, incumbent Bill Scott and local businessman Doug Sherrill, are contending for the District 1 seat. Incumbent Tim Bowden faces Carlton Smith and Steve Shaw in the District 2 race.
Current BOC Chair John Raber did not stand for re-election. The seat he will vacate Dec. 31 is being sought by Guy LaBoa and Chris Dockery.
Voters will also choose a new Magistrate Judge. Current judge Jeff Lowe is retiring in December. Four candidates, Andrea Conarro, Joy Edelberg, Kathi Haney and Randy Pruitt are vying for the position.
Christopher Beardon and incumbent Susan Sockwell face off in the district 1 School Board race.
Also running for election as county coroner are Ronald Fortner and Amanda Jones; and John Gaston and John Lingle face off for the position of county surveyor.
Clint Smith and Kevin Tanner are vying for the State District 9 House of Representatives seat.
The U.S. Representative to the House in the 9th Congressional District is also up for grabs this election. Candidates on the Republican ballot include Doug Collins, Roger Fitzpatrick and Martha Zoller.
The only judgeships, other than magistrate, of local interest are one seat on the Enotah Circuit Superior Court and the Probate judgeship. Neither Judge Murphy Miller (Superior Court)or Michael Chastain (Probate) face oposition.
Several non-partisan state-wide races for judgeships on the state supreme and appeals courts are also on the July 31. However, none are contested.
There are several questions that appear on the Republican ballot. Number one on the list is whether or not to allow casino gambling to help fund education. Others see whether to impose a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to legislators; allowing active duty military personnel under the age of 21 to obtain a Georgia weapons license; whether or not voters should be required to register by political party affiliation at least 30 days prior to a primary election; and whether or not to amend the Georgia Constitution to include the “paramount right to life ... from his or her earliest biological beginning ....”
For those pulling a Democratic ballot, there are four questions. These include whether the Georgia Constitution should be amended to allow the state to override locally-elected school boards’ decision regarding the creation of charter schools in their counties; whether or not Democratic voters support ending unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators; whether or not the state should adopt an income tax credit for home energy costs; and whether or not Georgia reduces sales taxes on “Made in Georgia” products to support small businesses.
These are “straw poll” questions and are not binding.
Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, July 31 in all seven Lumpkin County voting districts and close at 7 p.m.
Those in the City of Dahlonega vote at the YMCA Parks & Rec Community Center. Voters in the North district vote at R-Ranch on Highway 19 North. In the North East district, vote at the Phillipi Community Center on Cavender Creek Road. For the East district, voting is at Berea Baptist Church on Highway 52 East. In the South East district, voters can cast their ballots at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Voters in the South West district vote at the Auraria Community House on Auraria Road. For those the west district voting is at at Dahlonega Assembly of God on Highway 52 West .
The Dahlonega Nugget will be posting election results online as they come in and provide full election coverage in the Aug. 1 edition.