Valdosta Daily Times

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What We Think

October 27, 2012

A few thoughts on the election

-- — If you haven’t voted already, there’s still plenty of time left to cast a ballot prior to the Nov. 6 election. Thousands of Lowndes County residents have already voted in early voting. A week of early voting remains as the Lowndes County Board of Elections increases its operating hours to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. this Monday through Friday, Oct. 29 through Nov. 2, at the Lowndes election offices, 2808 N. Oak St.

And if you miss early voting, there’s still the Nov. 6 election date, coming to a voting precinct near you.

— Given that early voting hit the 10,000 mark with Lowndes County registered voters in the middle of last week, area political forum organizers may want to take note of this trend for the next election.

As people gathered in the past week to see most of the region’s candidates face one another and answer the public’s questions, thousands of voters had already cast ballots in Lowndes County.

While we congratulate their efforts, organizers may wish to host these forums prior to early voting in coming elections. Early voting is changing the dynamic in how people vote, and the traditional methods of informing the public must adapt to these changes. This year, for example, The Times took heed of early voting. In the past, the newspaper’s candidate profiles traditionally ran a Sunday or two prior to the official election day. This election, The Times published these profiles prior to the opening of early voting.

— Early voting or not, as Nov. 6 draws closer, The Times receives more calls wondering why we don’t print a sample ballot.

The simple answer: There are just too many ballots to publish.

Lowndes County, alone, has dozens of different ballots.

How?

Well, one voter may be eligible to vote for one commission candidate, one school board candidate, one state representative, etc., while a neighbor as close as across the street may live in a completely different set of districts with completely different candidates for the commission, school board and Legislature. Or any combination of varying districts and candidates. This may be a bit of an exaggeration but with dozens of ballots, it’s not much of one.

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