Ready to make your vote count? Early voting starts next Monday


Voters with itchy trigger fingers can get their fix starting Monday at the Fayette County Board of Elections office in downtown Fayetteville.

The actual date for the primary is July 20, but there will be plenty of opportunity for electors to duck election day altogether. Six weeks’ worth, in fact.

Ballot machines will be at the ready Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voters may find the expanded voting options convenient over the summer given family vacations and the like. It also gives candidates plenty of time to rustle up votes and promote the citizen duty that is casting a ballot.

In primary voting, electors must choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot.

There are no contested races among the Democrats, but the Republicans have quite a few battles shaping up. Among them:

• Newcomer Charlie Cave is running against incumbent Bob Todd for Fayette County Board of Education post 4;

• Former Peachtree City Mayor Steve Brown is facing incumbent Jack Smith for the post 4 seat on the Fayette County Commission;

• Newcomer Allen McCarty is pitted against incumbent Eric Maxwell for the Post 5 seat on the Fayette County Commission.

Only one Republican, newcomer Sam Tolbert, has qualified to run for the post 5 Board of Education spot, though he will face Democratic newcomer Laura Burgess in the November general election. Incumbent Lee Wright declined to seek re-election to the seat.

In the state legislature, three candidates are running unopposed: Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), Rep. Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone), and Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone).

There will be other legislative battles among seats which have at least a small chunk of Fayette County in their districts, including Fayetteville attorney Emory Wilkerson. He is one of two Democratic challengers hoping to unseat District 74 incumbent Roberta Abdul-Salaam from her seat in the July primary election.

Also in the primary, Democratic voters in the Senate District 34 will be choosing from incumbent Valencia Seay, Fayetteville’s Travis Spruill or former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. The winner will face off against Republican Zannie Billingslea of Riverdale in the November general election.

Also facing opposition is veteran legislator John Yates of Griffin, as Rose Carroll of Fayetteville is mounting a challenge as a Democrat, meaning that she will face the Republican Yates in the November general election for the District 73 seat.

The House District 77 seat, currently occupied by Democrat Darrryl Jordan of Riverdale, also comes down to a November faceoff with Republican challenger James Brown of Fayetteville.