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Jasper, Nelson elections Tuesday: “I hope people come out on Election Day,” says voting office supervisor

            Voters in the city limits of Jasper and Nelson have shown they are either waiting on Election Day Tuesday, November 7th or aren’t interested in races. Only three people voted all day Monday at the community center, bringing the early vote total to 158.

            “We’ve seen less than 10 people many days [of early voting],” said Stacey Godfrey, elections supervisor for Pickens County. “It sure is different than last November when we had people wrapped around the building. There has been a lot of talk but people are not showing up so far. I hope they come out on Election Day and we have people standing in line.”

            Most of the votes cast so far have been in the city of Jasper races which has both the mayor position and two council seats up for grabs, plus one unopposed race.

            In Nelson the turnout is lower, but Godfrey says voters in the small town on the Pickens/Cherokee line typically wait until Election Day to “vote in their own backyard” rather than drive to Jasper.

            Next Tuesday all voting will be at the city hall in Nelson and at 55 GG Lovell St. Suite C (next to the Jasper City Police Department). The early voting station in the community center in Roper Park will close Friday. There is no voting Monday.

            Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day.

            Voters are asked to check their registration status by either calling the election office or by searching My Voter’s Page on the Ga. Secretary of State website. Godfrey said in a previous article there is always a little confusion with the city elections being only for those inside the city limits, not everyone with a mailing address with the name of the city.

            Godfrey said she anticipated higher numbers with the mayor seat up in Jasper and a good bit of talk about the election. At this point, it appears the turnout will be  low, similar to the last city election two years in Jasper when only 258 people voted – 153 on Election Day and 102 in early voting.

            In Nelson two years ago, 106 of the 118 total votes cast were done so on Election Day.

            When asked if the elections office has seen a lot of registrations from the new developments along Highway 515, Godfrey said it is hard to pinpoint as most people who change voter registrations do so when they change their driver’s licenses for their new address. She said those come in a few at the time so it’s hard to spot trends. She said there hasn’t been many calls or visits from new residents to indicate there are questions or any particular level of interest from the new residents of Jasper.

Races Tuesday

City of Jasper

Mayor- Jasper City Council member Kirk Raffield versus Lora Erdman;

City Council Post 3 – Brandon Hannah unopposed;

City Council Post 4 – Incumbent James A. “Jim” Looney versus Dorian Gibson;

City Council Post 5 – Incumbent John B. Foust, Jr. (previously served post 3), Bethsadia Fernandez, Anthony W. Young II, and Shirley Mitchell.

City of Nelson

City Council – Incumbents Krissy MacNeill, Nathan Hamby, as well as challengers John Ahlberg, Michael Brown, and Michael Haviland. David Hamby’s name will appear on the ballot but he has withdrawn from the race.

            Top vote getters win all seats; there are no runoffs in city elections here.

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