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Guest Editorial: It’s election season with the primaries around the corner

Guest Editorial: It's election season with the primaries around the corner
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 11:37 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - It is election season.

You can tell by the signs in your neighbor’s yard but — unfortunately — also in the right-of-ways.

The upcoming primary election is on Tuesday, May 24. The general election will be held in November.

While primary election day is only a week away, early voting has already begun and so far, almost 2,000 Dougherty County voters have cast their ballot representing about 3% of those registered.

This is a non-presidential election year and typically, turnout is lower. However, the offices on the ballot are very important both locally and statewide.

Here in Dougherty County, the race for county commission chairman will be decided only in the Democratic primary on May 24 and that is because no one entered that race in the Republican primary. That means if you are a Dougherty County voter and want a say in who your chairman will be, you will need to vote in the Democratic primary.

Georgia has an open primary system, which does not require a voter to register with one particular party. So, your primary party choice in May does not govern who you vote for in November.

And while some voters from each party engage in straight-ticket voting, many voters opt for the split ticket approach in November, voting for the person, not the party.

Voting is a fundamental and critical right that should not be squandered. Voter apathy — increased by the feeling that a single vote doesn’t make a difference — can sometimes result in the least-qualified candidate winning the election.

The best thing you can do is to educate yourself as to who is running, what their qualifications are and what they want to do when in office.

Before you go to the polls, you can check out your sample ballot online.

On the ballot, you will first see all of the party candidates and party questions, then you will see the nonpartisan offices — the judicial races — which are also very important as judges literally affect citizens’ lives and property with their decisions every day.

So my message to you is to become informed, do not miss the opportunity to have a say in your government and vote all the way through your ballot.

Our democracy depends on it.

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