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Know your election ballot
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As Dawson County voters cast their ballots in the presidential election six days from now, there are two noteworthy items to be considered.

First, in Georgia, the name Mitt Romney appears first on the ballot. Dawson County Elections Chair Glenda Ferguson said she has fielded calls asking why his name appears first.

Sen. Steve Gooch was contacted to help explain.

According to Georgia law, when we have a Republican governor in office, the Republican presidential candidates name appears first, he said. If Georgia had a Democratic governor, the incumbent Barack Obamas name would appear first.

The second noteworthy item is that all Dawson County ballots ask citizens to vote on local officials already in office, such as the sheriff, county commission chair, county commissioner for district 2 and district 4 and other offices.

According to Ferguson, the reason is because the July 31st election was a primary election, which simply narrows the field of candidates before an election for office.

Its like the presidential election where each party narrows it down to just one candidate who will represent them, Ferguson said. Its helpful to refer to the primary as a party election.

In the Dawson County race for sheriff, for example, three Republican candidates were certified to run: Billy Carlisle, Kevin Ellison, and Johnny Glass. Republican Billy Carlisle won the primary election and only his name appears on the Nov. 6 ballot. No Democratic candidates qualified. If a Democratic candidate had qualified and been nominated in the primary, his or her name would appear along with Carlisles.

On Nov. 6, voters are asked to confirm the election of their local Republican officials whose names appear on the ballot, along with a line for a write-in candidate.

Ferguson, however, confirmed there are no local certified write in candidates; only state and federal.

Early voting is currently underway, but ends Friday, Nov. 2 at 5:00 p.m. Sample ballots are available at the Elections Office, 96 Academy Ave., Dawsonville, or call 706.344.3640. On Nov. 6, polls are open 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.