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Early voting starts today
Hall voters can cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Georgia election dates

Today: Early voting begins for presidential primary
Feb. 25: Mandatory Saturday voting for presidential primary
March 6: Georgia presidential primary
May 23: Qualifying begins at 9 a.m. for state primary races (ends at noon May 25)
July 2: Deadline to register to vote in the July 31 primary
July 9: Early voting for primary.
July 21: Mandatory Saturday voting for primary
July 31: General primary
Aug. 21: Primary runoff, if needed
Oct. 9: Deadline to register to vote in Nov. 6 general election
Oct. 15: Early voting begins for general election
Oct. 27: Mandatory Saturday voting for general election
Nov. 6: Election Day
Dec. 4: Runoff, if needed

The 2012 election season — chock full of choices on the national, state and local levels — officially opens Monday.

An eager voter — at least one from South Hall — could make as many as three choices beginning today.

Early voting for the presidential preference primary begins today. In Hall County, voters will decide two questions regarding Sunday alcohol sales in unincorporated areas.

Voters can cast ballots at the Hall County Elections Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Early voting runs through March 2, and includes one Saturday, Feb. 25.

Flowery Branch residents have the opportunity to vote at City Hall for a new Post 3 city council member. The seat was left vacant by Kris Yardley, who made an unsuccessful bid for a vacant seat in the state House. Three candidates are on the ballot to succeed him: Jason Covert, Fred Richards and Pat Zalewski.

Polling in the Flowery Branch race starts at 8 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall each day.

Georgia introduced a new form of early voting in 2008, giving voters a period to vote in advance, whether or not they were going to be in town on election day.

Hall County's voters took advantage of the change; about 39 percent of the county's registered voters showed up early for the November 2008 election.

"I do notice that Hall County voters are active, and that they're very active in early voting," Hall Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said.

And as heavily Republican Hall County gears up to select the party's nominee to face President Barack Obama, interest in the election likely will be high.

Georgia is one of 10 to vote on Super Tuesday, March 6, in the presidential preference primary. With 76 delegates, Georgia is the day's largest catch.

One of the candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, calls Georgia home.

A win in Georgia is key to Gingrich's Southern strategy, his goal to rebound from recent losses with a strong run in the region. His lone victory in the GOP race came in the South Carolina primary.

Gingrich is credited as an early architect of Georgia's now-dominant Republican Party. His campaign headquarters is in Atlanta.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the third-place finisher in Georgia's 2008 primary, has tapped into the deep pockets of metro Atlanta's business community. But he has yet to win an election in the Deep South and his momentum was in question after a trio of losses last week. He did capture Maine's caucuses Saturday.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, fresh off victories in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, was last in Georgia in the fall and has little organization here. Neither does the GOP's other presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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