Georgia voters head to polls for general election

Georgia voters head to polls for general election

November 5th, 2013 by Tim Omarzu in Local Regional News

Richard Barclift, municipal election superintendent for the Chickamauga precinct, removes election machines from boxes Monday at the Chickamauga Civic Center.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

VOTING TIMES

Polls will be open today for voting in Georgia's general election from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.In Catoosa County, the only polling place open will be in Fort Oglethorpe at Constitution Hall at 205 Forrest Road. All precincts will be open in Walker County for the SPLOST vote. Three cities will have voting at the following sites: LaFayette, at the senior citizens building at 636 S. Main St.; Chickamauga, the civic center at 1817 Clarkson Road; and Rossville, the civic center at 400 McFarland Ave.

TYPES OF VALID PHOTO ID

• A Georgia driver's license, even if expired.

• Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S.

• Valid U.S. passport.

• Valid U.S. military photo ID.

• Valid tribal photo ID.

Orma Luckey has been elections superintendent for the city of Fort Oglethorpe since 2007.

This year's election may be her biggest yet, based on early voting. The 608 early votes and more than 60 absentee ballots received put this year's turnout on track to beat the 2011 election, she said, when a total of 1,106 votes were cast.

"I've had an election almost every year," Luckey said. "This is the biggest so far [by] the indication of the early voting."

Fort Oglethorpe's election has two hot-button issues.

One is the battle for control of City Hall, with a slate of three candidates hoping to avenge the City Council's March 22 decision to jettison three longtime city administrators.

The other issue is Sunday alcohol sales, which voters rejected by 107 votes in 2011, with 594 opposed and 487 in favor.

Since then, voters in Catoosa County and Ringgold have approved Sunday alcohol sales, leaving Fort Oglethorpe as a dry island in the now-wet county. As a result, Northwest Georgia Bank deannexed 42 acres on Battlefield Parkway east of Dietz Road to the county to make the property more attractive to retail development, since restaurant developers want Sunday alcohol sales.

The big countywide issue in Walker County is the proposed renewal of a special purpose local option sales tax levy of 1 cent per $1 of sales until 2019.

Various municipal offices also are up for grabs in Northwest Georgia.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp reminded voters to bring any valid state or federal government-issued ID.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.