Early voting starts Tuesday for Dalton, Varnell; free rides to polls will be available to Dalton voters on the Saturdays of advance voting

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Early voting for both Dalton and Varnell starts Tuesday at the Whitfield County Courthouse.

Voting is each weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 29. Voters must bring a photo ID.

Early voting is also on two Saturdays — Oct. 16 and 23 — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On each of those Saturdays, Whitfield County transit will offer free rides to the polls and back home for residents of Dalton.

To schedule a ride, call Whitfield County transit at (706) 278-3606. Officials request that voters call at least 24 hours in advance to make sure they can be fit into the schedule.

"With the recent changes enacted by our state legislators to expand early voting days, we are happy to announce free transit service on the two Saturday early voting days," said Whitfield County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jevin Jensen. "Helping our seniors and others who may lack proper transportation is the mission of our county transit. Getting more voters to the polls via our transit system fits nicely into our goals to improve voter participation and increase ridership on our buses. We hope to learn from this upcoming Dalton city election pilot so that we can offer it next year in the county-wide primaries."

The contested races are:

• Dalton City Council Ward 2: Incumbent Annalee Harlan and Rodney Craig Miller.

• Dalton City Council Ward 4: Incumbent Gary Crews and Steve Farrow.

• Dalton Board of Education: Incumbent Palmer Griffin and Manuel Meza.

• Varnell mayor: Incumbent Tom Dickson and former mayor Anthony Hulsey.

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