Lately voters locally have enjoyed a respite from the stress and strain of elections.
In Columbus, they still have time to relax: They won’t return to the polls until May 2018. Not so in Alabama, where voters Tuesday are to sift through 18 candidates for the U.S. Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become attorney general.
Though Georgians won’t have to think much about elections until candidate qualifying kicks off in seven months, they should remember local registrars are cleaning their voter rolls, deleting the names of those who have died, moved away or neglected to vote in the past two presidential elections.
The Muscogee County elections office in July mailed notices to voters who either have changed their mailing addresses or had their mail forwarded, asking them to fill out a form and send it back, so election workers can update their records.
Elections director Nancy Boren said it’s routine in an off-year to compare voter rolls to U.S. Postal Service records to flag home addresses that don’t match, then mail those voters a notice asking them to confirm their residency.
Those who do not reply will be moved from the county’s “active” voter roster to the list of “inactive” ones. That doesn’t mean they can’t vote: They’re still eligible, but if they don’t vote in either of the two subsequent general elections, or conduct some business with the elections office that shows they’re still engaged, their names will be deleted.
Georgians can check their eligibility online at the state’s “My Voter Page,” www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Locally voters will have a lot to decide next year: Besides races for governor and other state executives, the state House and Senate and U.S. Congress, Muscogee County will have elections for mayor, the five odd-numbered Columbus Council seats, and the four even-numbered and at-large school board posts.
Also set locally are judicial elections for the positions now held by State Court Judge Andy Prather and Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. All voters in the six-county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit cast ballots in Superior Court judge races. Besides Muscogee, those counties are Harris, Chattahoochee, Marion, Taylor and Talbot.
Here is the schedule for next year’s elections in Columbus:
- Candidates qualify for office from 9 a.m. March 5 until noon March 9.
- April 23 is the deadline to register to vote in the May state party primaries and local nonpartisan elections.
- From April 30 through May 18, advance in-person voting will be held in Columbus’ City Services Center, 311 Citizens Way.
- May 22 will be Election Day for party primaries and local nonpartisan races.
- July 24 will be when any runoff elections are held.
- Oct. 9 will be the deadline to register to vote in the November general election.
- From Oct. 15 through Nov. 2, advance in-person voting will be held in Columbus’ City Services Center.
- Nov. 6 will be Election Day for the general election.
- Dec. 4 will be when any runoffs are held.