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Advance voting sets records, ends Friday

Advance voting is ongoing through Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the board of elections and voter registration office on Jackson Street in Zebulon. 

Georgia voters have set early voting records since the first day of voting this year with nearly twice the number of early voters on the first day compared to the number of voters in 2018. Statewide, more than 1.5 million voters had cast their ballots as of Monday, Oct. 31. 

For the first two weeks of early voting, Pike County had 3,354 voters cast their ballots in person and 244 absentee ballots cast, for a total of 3598 total ballots. So far, Pike County has roughly a 24% turnout.

“Compared to the Early Voting for the November 2018 election we have seen a 150% increase in turnout over the same time period in 2022. Comparing to the November 2020 election, we have seen a 16% decrease in turnout for the same time period,” said Pike County elections supervisor David Neyhart. “Those wishing to vote after Friday, Nov. 4 will be able to cast their vote on Election Day Nov. 8 at their precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The average number of voters who have cast their ballots during the week has been around 300 per day, with the greatest wait times being after 3 p.m. The trend has been 40 voters per hour, but I suspect that this will increase to between 35 to 40 per hour during this last week.”

Local voters will decide two special elections that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. 

Pike citizens will vote on a special election to decide if there will be a tax exemption for residents 62 and older. The special election would allow for the increase of exemptions from school district taxes for seniors and the question reads, “Shall the Act be approved which increases the exemptions from school district taxes for residents who are age 62 or older, depending on income, and provides for a new exemption regardless of income, for residents who are age 70 and older?”

City of Williamson residents will decide whether to approve or deny the sale of distilled spirits in the city limits and the ballot questions says, “Should the city of Williamson allow the issuance of licenses for the package sale of distilled spirits …”  

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. 

Locally, District 135 Rep. Beth Camp is running unopposed. The only contested local race is for Meansville City Council Post 1 seat with candidates Jim Cairns and Ashley English.

There are several other questions on the ballot, including Senate Resolution No. 134 which provides for the suspension of compensation of certain state officers and members of the General Assembly. 

The question is, “shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to suspend the compensation of the Governor, Lt. Gov., Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor or any member of the General Assembly while such individual is suspended from office following indictment for a felony?”

The second question would provide for temporary local tax relief after disasters and reads, “shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the governing authority of each county, municipality and consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and located within a nationally declared disaster area?”

House Bill No. 997 would provide for ad valorem tax exemption for certain timber production, reforestation and harvesting equipment and reads, “shall the Act be approved which grants a state-wide exemption from all ad valorem taxes for certain equipment used by timber producers in the production or harvest of timber?”

House Bill No. 498 would expand ad valorem tax exemption for family-owned farms and adds qualified products to the exemption. The question reads, “shall the Act be approved which expands a state-wide exemption from ad valorem taxes for agricultural equipment and certain farm products held by certain entities to include entities comprising two or more family owned farm entities, and which adds dairy products and unfertilized eggs of poultry as qualified farm products with respect to such exemption?”

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