Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 27, 2014

Advanced voting begins Monday

VALDOSTA — Voters have the opportunity to select candidates in state and local primaries starting Monday, more than three weeks before the May 20 election date, but it’s not called early voting any more.

The term “early voting” is no longer used by the Lowndes County Board of Elections.

“We now have an election cycle, where voting begins on Monday in the elections office; 8 to 5 for the first two weeks, 7 to 7 for the last week, and Saturday, May 10, from 9 to 4,” said Deb Cox, the Lowndes County supervisor of elections. “If you wait until the last day to vote, May 20; 7 a.m. -7 p.m., then you have to go to a location other than the elections office – a polling place.”

The “advanced voting” portion of the election cycle begins 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through May 9, at the elections office on North Oak Street.

Cox said there are several benefits to advanced voting. These include convenience, if you have a free moment in your day, then you can swing by the elections office; it is a social event, you can vote with anyone who resides in Lowndes County; short wait times, during the November 2012 election, the elections office processed more than 26,000 voters, and the wait rarely exceeded 15 minutes.

For the primary, a voter must choose a party, and only the candidates in that party will be on the ballot.

Many people ask, “why do I have to choose a party?” Cox typically replies, “This election is a primary – an election to assist each party in determining which of their proposed candidates will go forward to the November election, to compete with the other parties for a political seat. You can only choose one party to vote in. Another option is the non-partisan ballot, which only has the school board and judges on it.”

If there is a runoff election, you cannot change parties. If you miss the initial election, and there is a runoff, you can vote in the runoff and choose whichever party ballot. All non-partisan candidates are on both ballots.

More information: Contact the Lowndes County Board of Elections Office, (229) 671-2850, or email

Categorized alphabetically by last name, here is a list of all of the candidates on both ballots. The candidate’s party is labeled as either (Dem) for a Democrat, or (Rep) for a Republican.

Two candidates, Don Thieme and Crawford Powell, are on the ballots, but they withdrew from the election after ballots were sent to the printer.



Scott “Scottie” Orenstein (Rep)

Jody Hall (Rep)


Tom Hochschild (Dem)

Tally Mark Wisenbaker, Jr. (Rep)

Don Thieme (Dem) *On the ballot, but withdrew from the race


Demarcus A. Marshall (Dem) (Incumbent) unopposed


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