It’s Voting Season in Southwest Georgia

From the Decatur County Board of Elections:

Advance voting for president now underway

Advance in-person voting for the Presidential Preference Primary will take place from Monday, Feb. 8, through Friday, Feb. 19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and, from Monday, Feb. 22, through Friday, Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Locations for advance voting are the Fairgrounds, located at 1211 Vada Road in Bainbridge and the Courthouse Annex, located at 122 W. Water St., which is across the street from the Firehouse Center and Gallery. The Fairgrounds is set up to handle more voters with more voting machines and poll workers than the Courthouse Annex is, which is where the offices of the Board of Elections is located.

Advance in-person voting allows voters more flexibility and allows them to vote without having to go to their specific precinct.

Since this is a primary, voters will need to specify which ballot they want – a Democratic or Republican ballot.

Candidates on the Democratic ballot for the March 1 election are the following: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Michael Steinberg.

Candidates on the Republican ballot are the following: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John R. Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald J. Trump.

Voters must present an authorized photo ID before they can vote.

If you need a Voter Identification Card, you may obtain one at the Board of Elections office. Various forms of identification are necessary to obtain a Voter Identification Card, so please call ahead to ensure you have the correct information prior to coming in. If you do not have a valid Georgia’s Driver’s License, the Elections Office cannot issue a Voter Identification Card.


Qualifying for local offices begins March 7

There are several local offices up for election later this year.

On May 24, the Primary/General Nonpartisan election will be held. Candidates can begin qualifying for those offices on Monday, March 7, beginning at 9 a.m. Qualifying closes on Friday, March 11, at noon.

County commissioners from districts 2, 3 and 5, coroner, sheriff, clerk of court and tax commissioner are partisan offices. Candidates seeking these offices will need to decide if they will run as a Democrat or Republican and then qualify with that respective political party.

Board of Education members from districts 1, 3 and 5, chief magistrate, state court judge and probation judge are non-partisan races. Candidates seeking to run for these offices will qualify at the Board of Elections office.

Candidate seeking to run for Superior Court judge, district attorney and for General Assembly seats must qualify in Atlanta.


Ethics seminar for candidate, public officials and qualifying officer Feb. 24

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is conducting free workshops on Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Charles H. Kirbo Center.

There are two workshops, one for candidates and public officials and another for local filing entities and qualifying officers. These workshops are full of good information that deal with all the required ethics paperwork that goes with running for public office and holding public office, and for keeping up with and correctly completing all the required ethics paperwork.

The workshop for candidates and public officials is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The workshop for local filing entities and qualifying officers is from 1 to 3 p.m.  Interested persons are welcome to attend both workshops.

Please RSVP to Carol Heard at (229) 243-2087 or

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