Deadline approaches to register for July 31 electionBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Voting in the general election Democratic and Republican primaries and nonpartisan election isn’t until July 31, but Coweta County elections officials will start mailing paper absentee ballots to military personnel today.
They’ll start mailing regular absentee ballots on Monday.
You can request an absentee ballot from the Coweta County Voter Registrar’s Office in the County Administration Building on East Broad Street, or download one at the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.georgia.gov. For information contact the Voter Registrar’s Office at 770-254-2615 or email@example.com.
Voter registration forms are available at both of those locations, as well as at many other locations, including local libraries.
All registered Coweta voters soon will be receiving new precinct cards, as a result of redistricting, which takes effect this year.
The cards will show each voter’s districts for Georgia House of Representatives, U.S. Congress, Coweta County Commission, Coweta County Board of Education, and city councils, if applicable. The biggest change from redistricting was that Coweta County will be part of four state House districts instead of two. There were minor changes to county commission and school board district lines.
Some voters have also been moved into different voting precincts, said Coweta County Voter Registrar Joan Hamilton.
“As we checked out maps – since we got the GIS maps – some people’s precincts have changed,” Hamilton said.
Because of the changes, Hamilton urges voters to review their precinct cards.
“I want to make the people aware they need to really look at those cards, not just trash them or stick them somewhere,” Hamilton said.
If voters have any questions — or if they believe something isn’t correct on the precinct card, they can get more information on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. The My Voter Page — www.sos.georgia.gov/mvp — includes precinct information, as well as sample ballots, for every registered voter in the state.
You can also contact Hamilton’s office.
“We encourage people to call prior to election day,” Hamilton said. “If there is a question, or if they are just not sure about something, please call before election day.”
“We can deal with it, answer their questions and be sure they understand what is going on,” she said.
Though there are few contested races for the July election, Cowetans will have a full ballot to consider.
There is the vote on a one-percent regional sales tax for transportation projects, better known as the TSPLOST — for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Cowetans will vote on the project proposal for the Three Rivers District — covering a region south of Atlanta.
Cowetans countywide will also vote on Sunday sales of alcohol in both stores and restaurants.
Voters in Grantville will vote on by-the-drink sales in restaurants, both on Sunday and during the week.
Voters in Moreland will decide whether or not to extend council terms from two years to four years.
Additionally, both the Democratic and Republican parties have put several questions on the ballot to gauge public opinion about various issues such as charter schools, rapid rail, casino gambling, capping lobbyist gifts and whether Coweta County should have countywide trash and garbage services.
Among contested local races for government offices in the primaries are the Georgia House District 71 seat, a Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court judgeship, U.S. Congress District Three and Coweta surveyor.
Christopher W. Roberton and Jason D. Turner are seeking the Coweta surveyor post.
State Rep. Billy Horne, R-Sharpsburg, has decided not to seek reelection. Two local attorneys, Darryl Marmon and Robert Stokely, are running for his seat. There is no Democratic candidate.
Kevin McMurry and Emory Palmer are both seeking the Coweta Superior Court judgeship being vacated by Allen Keeble, who is retiring. It is a non-partisan race.
Third District U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who lives near Grantville, has two Republican challengers: Kent Kingsley of Milner and Chip Flanegan of Jonesboro.
There are also two state Public Service Commission races with incumbent Chuck Eaton facing a challenge from Matt Reid, and incumbent Stan Wise facing a challenge from Pam Davidson.