Early voting starts Monday

File/Daily Citizen-News

George Smith, an election technician, sets up a voting machine at the Whitfield County courthouse in this file photo.

Early voting starts Monday for the Nov. 3 general election.

In Whitfield County, early voting takes place in the elections office in the county courthouse, 205 N. Selvidge St., Suite K, in Dalton, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, Oct. 30. Early voting will also take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number for the elections office is (706) 278-7183.

In Murray County, early voting takes place at the Murray County Recreation Center, 691 Hyden Tyler Road in Chatsworth, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, Oct. 30. Early voting will also take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Murray County elections office is in the county courthouse annex, 121 N. Fourth Ave. in Chatsworth. The phone number is (706) 517-1400, ext. 1232.

Voters must bring a photo ID.

The presidential race tops the ballot. Republican President Donald Trump faces Democrat and former vice president Joe Biden. Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen is also on the ballot.

RealClearPolitics' average of the latest polls from six sources shows Biden and Trump in a tie, with 46.7% each in Georgia. RealClearPolitics is a political news site that bills itself as nonpartisan.

In one U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican David Perdue — a former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 — faces Democrat Jon Ossoff, a journalist who ran unsuccessfully in Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a 2017 special election to replace Republican Tom Price who had stepped down to become Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services. Perdue leads 46.6% to Ossoff's 42.6% in Real Clear Politics' average of the latest polls.

And there is a special election to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. senator Johnny Isakson, who stepped down last year for health reasons. Isakson, a Republican, had served in the Senate for 14 years. Before that, he served almost 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Dec. 4, 2019, to fill the seat until an election could be held. Loeffler, who was sworn in on Jan. 6, 2020, faces 20 other candidates in a "jungle primary" in which the candidates of all parties as well as independents are in the same race. If no one gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will meet in a runoff on Jan. 5, 2021.

Loeffler and her husband own Intercontinental Exchange, which operates trading exchanges. She is also co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Real Clear Politics' average of the latest polls shows Democrat Raphael Warnock — senior pastor since 2005 of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr.'s former congregation — leading with 25.3%, Loeffler with 22.6% and Republican Doug Collins with 21.3%. A native of Gainesville, Collins has served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 9th Congressional District since 2013.

No other candidate had 10% or more.

Locally, incumbent Republican Rick Jasperse, of Jasper, a retired county extension agent who has served in the state House of Representatives for 10 years, faces Democrat Kayla Hollifield, of Jasper, who is described on the Georgia Democratic Party website as a single mother of four, in the race for state House of Representatives District 11, which includes the southern part of Murray County, except for a small portion on the southwest that is part of District 5.

In the 14th Congressional District, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Rome, a Republican, is running to replace incumbent Republican Tom Graves, of Ranger, who is not seeking reelection. Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal of Catoosa County dropped out of the race in September, citing family reasons. He dropped out too late for the Democratic Party to replace him, so his name remains on the ballot.

Greene is co-owner and a former officer in Taylor Commercial, her family's construction company. She also founded and ran a CrossFit gym for several years before selling it.

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