Some voters in Dalton and Whitfield County will head to the polls on Tuesday for the general election. If the early voting numbers are any indication, those polls won't be busy. Let's change that.
There are only four contested races in Dalton and Varnell, and the lack of any state or national races will surely affect voter turnout. Local voting turnout is usually in the single digits. Sometimes an interesting local race, say for mayor, may push that number in the low teens. Presidential elections often bring out voters in large numbers. Regardless of the length of the ballot, we cannot stress enough the importance of voting on Tuesday.
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.
Voters in Varnell will also vote on a referendum on whether to allow the package sale of distilled spirits.
As you can see, these races will impact the city/county you live in, the amount of property taxes you pay, your children's education and the direction of our community. The decisions these men and women make will affect you -- and your wallets.
Over the past few days, the Daily Citizen-News has profiled each of the eight candidates in front page stories. They have also spoken at different forums, sent out mailers and have a presence on social media. Take some time over the weekend to familiarize yourself with the candidates and their positions.
While at the polls, remember to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Although masks and face coverings are not required in any county-owned buildings or precincts, it's a good idea to wear one when going to vote. Also adhere to other U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reduce your chance of being infected with the virus by social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Please get out and vote!