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Early voting begins
Election features local, state races
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For bio information on each local candidate, pick up this week’s print edition of the Dawson Community News.


Where to vote:


Early, absentee and advance voting for the July 20 primary and special election

8 a.m.-5 p.m. through July 16

Dawson County Board of Elections and Voter Registration

96 Academy Ave., Dawsonville


Election Day, July 20

Polls open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

West precinct votes at Fire Station 6 on Hubbard Road

Central precinct votes at the board of elections office, 96 Academy Ave.

East precinct votes at the new Fire Station 2, 145 Liberty Drive, near Dawson Forest Road and Hwy. 53 East.


Call the elections and voter registration office at (706) 344-3640 if unsure of your polling place, or visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s Web site and click “My Voter Page” for precinct details.


What to bring:

* Voters must provide one of the six acceptable forms of photo identification: Georgia driver’s license; valid ID card by any state or U.S. with photo; U.S. passport; government employee photo ID; U.S. military ID card with photo; tribal ID card with photo.

* If a voter does not have one of the required forms of photo ID, or if the voter’s name cannot be located on the voter’s list, the voter will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Instructions on the provisional balloting process will be displayed at each voting location.


Important dates:

* June 7-16: Early, Advance and Absentee voting

* June 21: Last date to register to vote in the July 20 primary and special election

* July 9: Political forum organized by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce

* July 20: Primary and special election

* Aug. 10: Runoff for primary and special election (if needed)

* Oct. 4: Last day to register to vote in general election

* Nov. 2: General election

Early voting began Monday for the July 20 primary and will continue through July 16 at the Dawson County Elections and Registration Office.


Glenda Ferguson, chairman of elections and voter registration, said she expects voter turnout to be high, primarily due to the county clerk of court’s race, which features 10 candidates.


“There’s a lot of interest in this race, but there’s also a lot of confusion,” she said. “A lot of the voters don’t realize there are state races also.”


The July 20 ballot features contests for governor and other statewide offices, as well state Senate and U.S. House and Senate seats.


The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce will hold a political forum on July 9 to give voters the opportunity to meet candidates and hear why each believes he or she is best suited for the job.


“This is going to be a great opportunity for local citizens to meet the people running for office, get to talk to them in person and listen to them answer questions in front of the other candidates,” said Charlie Auvermann, forum coordinator.


“With 10 candidates running [for clerk of court], they’re going to have to stand out to be memorable.”


Auvermann said he hopes to see the candidates take advantage of the forum to “get their message to the public and solidify their positions” with the voters.


The chamber has also invited state and regional candidates to participate in the forum.


The clerk of courts race is to fill the unexpired term of Becky McCord, who resigned amid a criminal probe into missing funds from an office account.

Other local races include a three-man race for the District 3 seat on the county commission. Incumbent Mike Connor is not seeking re-election.


Also not running again is District 51 state Sen. Chip Pearson, whose seat is also on the ballot.


State Rep. David Ralston, who represents the 7th District, is running unopposed, as is Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.


Voters will also weigh in again on the 9th District U.S. House seat. Six candidates are vying for a two-year term that begins in January.