ALBANY, Ga. — Although it may be slim, there is still an opportunity for a few more folks to toss their hats into the local political races — giving voters a few more options to choose from.
Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson says that while the major party qualifying for local races for 2012 is closed, those choosing to run as independent candidates or write-ins still can do so.
Under Georgia law, the window for having one's name placed on the November General Election ballot as an independent candidate begins July 30 and closes Aug. 3.
Nickerson says that in order to have one's name put on the ballot, a candidate must file a notice of candidacy affadavit with the elections office, pay the qualifying fee for the office sought, and present a petition filled with the signatures of at least one percent of the registered voters who were eligible to vote in the last election in which the office was up and who are eligible to vote in the present election.
That must be done and submitted by Aug 3.
Qualifying fees for school board races are $90 with the exception of the school board's at-large race, which is $108. Fees for Dougherty County Commission seats are $288.
To be a write-in candidate, a resident of the district must run a legal advertisement in the Albany Herald declaring their intention to run and present an affadavit to the elections office no later than Sept. 4.
No fee is required for write-in candidates, but their names will NOT show up on the General Election ballot, however any write-in votes that are cast where there is an obvious intent to cast a vote for the write-in candidate will be counted, Nickerson said.
The races up for consideration by voters this year include Dougherty County Commission District 1, currently held by Lamar Hudgins, District 3, which is held by Muarlean Edwards, and District 5, which is held by Gloria Gaines.
Hudgins and Gaines are running opposed, while Edwards is not seeking re-election to her seat and is instead running for a state house seat. Clinton Johnson and Louise Primrose have announced as candidates for Edwards' seat.
Up for contention on the school board side is District 1, which is currently held by David Maschke, District 3, currently held by Velvet Riggins, District 5, currently held by James Bush, and the countywide At-Large seat currently held by Anita Williams-Brown.
Bush and Riggins currently have no opposition. Maschke is not seeking re-election and the only other person to qualify in the race, Robert Youngblood, has no opposition.
Williams-Brown has the only contested seat on the school board and is being challenged by Dr. Lane Price.
For information on elections, call the Dougherty County Elections office at 431-3247