Vote more important than ever

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It has been well documented that 2020 is unlike any year we have ever seen, and that includes its political campaigns.

The presidential nominees were all but decided while we sheltered at home, and local candidates have not had a chance to get out and meet the people as they normally would.

We have been running questions to county candidates the last two weeks, including all three races for the county commission and the sheriff’s race. In today’s edition, we have statements from all six Republican candidates for Georgia District 50 Senate, and their answers to three additional questions can be found at thenortheastgeorgian.com.

The first of two political forums sponsored by Farm Bureau and co-sponsored by the Habersham Chamber of Commerce was held Tuesday night, and you can watch the forums archived on our Facebook page. We also will carry the forum on Tuesday, May 26, which includes candidates for state and federal offices.

One of the biggest things we have heard from readers during this COVID-19 shutdown is that they want more information about their political candidates so they can make an informed decision. We have tried to provide that despite folks not being able to see and hear the candidates in person because of social distancing.

Many have chosen to take advantage of Georgia’s offer to give an absentee ballot to anyone who wants one. More than 7,800 absentee ballots have gone out to Habersham County residents, according to County Manager Phil Sutton at Monday’s commission meeting, and 2,530 have already been returned.

Early voting also began Monday, with 52 citizens taking advantage of the chance to cast their ballot in person on the first day it was possible for the June 9 election. This year, early voting is vital to try and limit crowds piling up on that Election Day.

Whatever method you use to vote, it is vital that you do so. With a majority of our county commission seats up for grabs, along with new faces running for state representative, senator and U.S. Congress, decisions that will affect the entire region will be made in this election.

During our last local election, we had a 8% turnout of registered voters. We can do better!

Please fulfill your basic civic duty and vote. We need the decision of who will represent us made by all registered voters and not just a select few.