Early voting is here.

Many voters living in cities get to decide who will lead and represent them in the coming four years.

Several men and women are running for various city posts in Lowndes County and throughout Georgia. In some cities, every registered voter living in that city can cast a ballot for mayor, city council member or school board member. In other cities, only registered voters living in specific districts included in the election are eligible to vote.

If you’re living in an unincorporated part of a county, you likely aren’t eligible to vote for anything this election cycle.

In Lowndes County, municipal elections include three Valdosta City Council seats where the incumbents are seeking reelection with no opposition. Valdosta Board of Education has nearly a handful of contested races. Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park and Remerton also have city council and a few mayor races in this municipal election.

The Nov. 2 Election Day will be here before you know it but more and more people have opted to cast a ballot during the early voting period and why shouldn’t they? It is convenient, lines are not long and you can do it at various times through the day during the three weeks that have been set aside for early voting.

We encourage our readers to be informed voters. No one should vote for someone simply because they think the candidate is a nice person, they attend church together, are in the same civic club, are relatives or part of a certain social circle. You should vote for the person you think will do the best job.

Campaigns should be considered job interviews.

Elections should be more about principle than politics.

The vote is our ultimate recourse.

You may have concerns regarding how city government is doing the people’s business. You may have concerns about government transparency, government spending, city taxes, business regulations or government services. Who do you support?

Do you know the positions of the candidate(s) you support on these and other relevant issues facing our community?

The voting booth is our opportunity to influence the future of our city.

We elect mayors, members of city councils and school boards to make important decisions that will affect our city’s future.

We hope turnout is robust this go-round. It is disheartening that only a small portion of registered voters tend to make it to the polls.

Voting is a right and a privilege.

Be informed. Make wise decisions based on ideologies, past performance, platforms and matters of principle, rather than on personality, popularity or party alone.

Then, go vote.

The election is scheduled for Nov. 2. Early voting runs 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 12-16; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Oct. 18-23; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 25-29, at the Lowndes Board of Elections office, 2808 N. Oak St. More information: Call (229) 671-2850.

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