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So Far, Local Ballot Box Fails To Attract Many Voters

As of 1:50 p.m. today, about 293 people have voted early in several contested races in Chattooga County and statewide.

“It’s a little slow. We hope that it picks up a little next week,” Chattooga County Chief Registrar Elaine Pledger said.

People can vote early until May 18, which is next Friday, at the local registrar’s office at 10017 Commerce Street, Summerville (adjacent to the courthouse) between 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The registrar’s office will also be open tomorrow (Saturday, May 12) from 9-4 p.m.

All the ballots contain two referendum questions relating to alcohol sales. The first question is whether the county should allow “distilled spirits” to be sold for on-site consumption. The second question is whether to allow retailers to sell beer and wine on Sundays.

All ballots will also contain the non-partisan superior judgeship race for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit. Incumbent Superior Judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr., and Summerville Attorney Melissa Gifford Hise are competing for that post. There is also a contested Georgia Court of Appeals race on the ballot with Ken Hodges and Ken Shigley competing.

Chattooga County Republican sample ballot

Chattooga County Democrat sample ballot

Chattooga County Non-partisan sample ballot 


The Republican ballot features a contested Chattooga County School Board race. Sammy Ballard and Andy Stivers are completing on the partisan ballot for seat 3. The winner of that competition will face Eddie Massey (D-Menlo) in November’s General Election.

Brad Hayes, who is competing for seat 2, and Julia Houston, who is competing for seat 4, are listed on the Republican ballot. They have no opponent in this primary election and will face Democrat opposition in November during the general election.

The Republican ballot also features several statewide contested races including the governor’s, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state school superintendent, public service commissioner and insurance commissioner.


The Democrat ballot does not have a local contested race. The only contested races listed are in the non-partisan section, which appear on all other ballots.

The Democrat ballot lists the unopposed candidates for school board –Massey, Alma V. Lewis and Larry F. Weesner. They will compete against Republican opponents in November.

The Demorcrats, however, have several statewide contested races including the governor’s, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state school superintendent, both public service commissioner races, commissioner of labor and insurance commissioner.

Some of the key election dates are listed below:

  • May 12: Mandatory Saturday Voting for the General Primary/Non-Partisan/Special Election .
  • May 18: Last day for a registrar to issue absentee ballots for the General Primary/Nonpartisan/ Special Election.
  • May 22: Election Day for General Primary, Nonpartisan General Election and Special Election Date