County expecting high voter turnout
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@cherokeetribune.com
October 14, 2012 01:03 AM | 2816 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee County Elections and Registration Supervisor Janet Munda is predicting “heavy” turnout in the county for early and advance voting, which begins on Monday.

Historically, voters in the county have shown a strong interest in voting early before Election Day, said Munda. In 2008, when the last presidential election was held, 48,000 people participated in advance voting, she said.

All registered voters are eligible to vote early at any advance voting site (listed on Page 5A), regardless of their assigned precinct. However, voters must vote at their assigned county precincts for the Election Day on Nov. 6

The last day to register for the Nov. 6 general election was this past Tuesday.

Voters can check their registration status, mail-in application and ballot status, and poll locations before going to the polls by going online to the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at mvp.sos.state.ga.us. Sample ballots personalized for specific voting districts are also available on the website.

Munda shied away from making an exact prediction for Election Day, but did say that early signs point to many people headed to the county’s 42 polling locations in the coming weeks. There are approximately 138,000 registered voters in Cherokee, according to the Elections and Registration office.

“I am looking for it to be very heavy turnout due to the phone calls that we’ve had, interest in voting registration when it approached the deadline and absentee ballots,” she said.

“We have mailed out 3,200 ballots to voters that have requested by mail. In 2008, we mailed out 10,000, so I don’t think we are going to reach that number for mail-out ballots. But, I do think we will have 5,000 to 6,000.”

In 2008, 79 percent of the county’s then 119,024 registered voters went to the polls. The county overwhelmingly favored Republican John McCain over his Democratic opponent Barack Obama. McCain received 74.8 percent of votes.

This year, the presidential race between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney headlines the ballot. Voters in Cherokee will have only a few contested races to decide.

Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey will face Democrat Patrick Thompson for the newly drawn 11th Congressional District, which includes all of Cherokee and Bartow counties, as well as parts of Cobb and Fulton counties. Allan Levene of Kennesaw has declared himself a write-in candidate.

Candidates battling for seats in the Georgia General Assembly include incumbent state Sen. John Albers, who is opposed by Democrat Akhtar Sadiq. Incumbent Republican state Rep. John Carson is defending his 46th District seat against Democrat Kevin “Big Kev” Westphal.

The open state House 20th District seat election is a contest between Republican Michael Caldwell and Democrat Lillian Burnaman.

In the city of Holly Springs, voters have two, non-partisan city council races.

The Post 3 race is between incumbent Councilman Michael Zenchuk and challenger Alex Berkobin. In the other race, incumbent Councilwoman Karen Barnett faces Bob Kovacs in the Post 2 contest.

Statewide, two positions on the Public Service Commission, as well as two constitutional amendments are on the ballot regarding public charter schools and multi-year real estate rental agreements.

Locally, voters in Cherokee will have a special election to decide whether or not to adopt a proposed Homestead Option Sales Tax to reduce property taxes. Both questions must be answered in the affirmative in order for the plan to pass.

Munda said there have not been any problems with photo identification requirements that first went into effect in 2006.

Georgia law requires state residents to show photo ID when voting in person.

Acceptable forms of identification are: a valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free voter ID card; Georgia driver’s license, even if expired; a valid government employee photo ID; a valid U.S. passport ID; a valid U.S. military photo ID; and a valid tribal photo ID.

Early and advance voting will be available at the following locations:

* Oct. 15 through 26, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cherokee County Elections Office, 400 E. Main St., Canton. Open to all Cherokee County registered voters.

* Saturday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Cherokee County Elections Office, 400 E. Main St., Canton; the Ball Ground Public Library, 435 Old Canton Road, Ball Ground; Hickory Flat Public Library, 2740 East Cherokee Drive, Canton; Rose Creek Public Library, 4476 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock; Woodstock Public Library, 7735 Main St., Woodstock. Open to all Cherokee County registered voters.

* Oct. 29 through Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, all five locations – see addresses above.

* Nov. 5, No voting.

* Tues., Nov. 6, Election Day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All county precincts are open Election Day.

You must vote at your assigned precinct.

To find your polling location, check your voter precinct card or call the elections office at (770) 479-0407.
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