Weak turnout for early voting
by Joshua Sharpe
October 20, 2013 12:09 AM | 2236 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Officials are reporting a weak turnout for the first week of early voting for the Nov. 5 elections around Cherokee County.

As of the end of the day Friday, only 175 voters had turned in their ballots for the open city positions around Cherokee and the District 14 seat in the state Senate, according to Cherokee County Supervisor of Elections and Registration Janet Munda.

Although the showing so far is “sad,” Munda said it isn’t exactly surprising for the first week of early voting in such an election.

“There’s always a low turnout,” she said. “I don’t know why.”

There is, however, still time for voters to let their voices be heard as Election Day approaches less than three weeks away, Munda said.

To cast their ballots, voters can go to the Albert L. Stone Elections Building in Canton, and during the week before the election, the Woodstock Library.

Early voting will end the Friday before Election Day, Munda said.

The polls will open Nov. 5 at 7 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m.

There are seven contested races to be decided in the election, with three city council seats in both Canton and Woodstock and the District 14 state Senate seat up for grabs, Munda said.

There are five candidates in the race to take the District 14 seat, which Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) resigned from to focus on his bid for U.S. Congress.

Dwight Pullen of Canton, Nicole Ebbeskotte of Woodstock, and Bruce Thompson of White, Christopher G. Nesmith of Adairsville, and Matt Laughridge of Cartersville, are running for the seat, which covers large portions of Cherokee and Bartow counties and a small piece of Cobb.

Another candidate, Dean Sheridan of Acworth, dropped out last Saturday saying he was worried his candidacy would help to split the conservative vote.

Sheridan will however be on the ballot, Munda said.

But assuming the Secretary of State’s Office receives his formal withdrawal from the race—which Munda said she didn’t think had happened yet—any votes for him won’t be recorded.

In Canton, all voters citywide will cast their ballot for one candidate in each of the city’s three wards to replace sitting councilmen Bill Bryan, Bob Rush and John Beresford, who aren’t seeking re-election.

Clint Weatherby, Sandy McGrew and Bob Reilly are running for Rush’s Ward 1 seat, and Bill Grant and Ari Durham for the Ward 2 seat held by Bryan.

Beresford’s Ward 3 seat has the most competition with Thomas Sanders, Farris Yawn, Molly Lewis and John Rust all running to replace him.

Voters in Woodstock also vote for one candidate in each ward on the ballot. Mayor Donnie Henriques is up for re-election but has no opposition.

Ward 5 City Councilman Bud Leonard is running again but will have to contend with challenger Susan L. Jones to stay in office.

Incumbent Bob Mueller is also competing against Judy Davila for his Ward 3 City Council seat, and John Szczesniak and Warren Johnson are squaring off for the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Randy Brewer.

In addition to the races being decided in Cherokee County, there are several city positions up for grabs in Nelson, which is half in Cherokee and half in Pickens. Voting for Nelson offices takes place at the Pickens County Elections Office, where early voting began Monday

As of Friday afternoon, only two people had voted, according to the Pickens County Elections Office.

Both incumbents up for election on the Nelson City Council, Jackie Jarrett and Edith Portillo, are running to keep their seats but will each have to get more votes than Thad Thacker Jr., who also running. The top two vote-getters in the city election there will take over the jobs, because the city isn’t separated by wards or posts.

But Larry Ray, who is running to fill the vacant mayor’s position, has no opposition.

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