Georgia voting dates
March 6: Presidential primary (registration deadline Feb. 6; early voting begins Feb. 13); special election for county ballot questions, Flowery Branch City Council
July 31: State primary for legislative, local races (registration deadline July 2)
Aug. 21: Primary runoff, if necessary
Nov. 6: Election Day (registration deadline Oct. 8)
Dec. 4: General election runoff, if necessary
What will likely be another busy election year in Georgia has gotten started.
Absentee ballots for the March 6 presidential preference primary are now available. In addition to choosing a presidential candidate, Hall County voters will also decide two alcohol-related referendums.
Hall County voters can apply for an absentee ballot at the Hall County Elections Office, 2285 Browns Bridge Road, Suite 2 in Gainesville or by going to the county's website, hallcounty.org. Voters in other counties should contact their local elections office.
On March 6, voters will need to choose whether they want to vote in the Republican or the Democratic primary. Nine candidates - Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum - are on the Republican ballot. Only President Barack Obama is on the Democratic ballot.
But voters in both primaries will have the chance to decide two questions related to the Sunday sale of alcohol in unincorporated areas of Hall County.
The first question asks voters to decide whether to allow Sunday sale of liquor by the drink in restaurants.
The second concerns the sale of packaged beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood have already approved Sunday sales initiatives in their communities.
The deadline to register to vote in order to be eligible to vote in the presidential primary is Feb. 6.
Early voting for the March 6 election begins on Feb. 13 and continues through March 2. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the elections office. The office will also open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.
The presidential primary is just the first of several elections this year. On July 31, party primaries will be held across Georgia for a number of state and local races.
In Hall County, voters will vote in primaries for sheriff, county commission chairman and seats in the Georgia General Assembly, among other local races. There will also be a primary for the newly created 9th District seat in the U.S. House.
In November, a presidential race that will likely be hotly contested awaits, as do a number of contested races that will emerge from the July primaries.
For more information about this year's elections, contact the Hall County Elections Office at 770-531-6945.