Weather may chill local early voting turnout
by Rebecca Johnston
rjohnston@cherokeetribune.com
October 31, 2012 12:51 AM | 2486 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the 2012 general election less than a week away, cooler temperatures could affect the last days of early voting, causing a larger turnout on Election Day on Tuesday.

Already just fewer than 30,000 voters have cast a ballot in Cherokee County during early voting, and Elections Supervisor Janet Munda said Tuesday she now predicts about 70,000 to 80,000 voters will cast a ballot in the presidential election.

“I think it is all dependent on weather; it is cold right now, but as the weather warms up, we could have more than we originally expected on Tuesday,” Munda said.

Munda said that so far her office has had few problems.

Everything has been running smoothly, I actually had a call saying how smoothly voting was going at Hickory Flat Library, which is a tight location for voters,” she said.

The election supervisor said the only problems were at Rose Creek Library where campaign signs were being placed too close to the polls.

“Some are putting signs too close, we have signs saying they cannot be placed within 150 feet of the building. We would appreciate it if everyone would respect that and put their signs out further,” she said.

So far 15,166 voters have cast ballots at the Canton office, 1,323 at Ball Ground, 3,943 at Hickory Flat, 4,460 at Rose Creek and 4,570 at Woodstock, she said, for a total of 29,462.

Saturday voting drew the heaviest numbers in the south end, with 1,354 casting a ballot at Rose Creek, and 1,409 turning out at the Woodstock Library. In Canton, 951 took advantage of early voting and 530 went to the Ball Ground Library on Saturday. Hickory Flat Library had 1,168.

Munda said her office has mailed out more than 5,000 absentee ballots so far.

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.

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 voting continues through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following sites:

* Cherokee County Elections Office

400 E. Main St., Canton

* 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

* Monday, no voting

* Tuesday, 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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