Feb. 20—Beginning Monday, we'll have another chance to shape the future of Whitfield County.
Advance voting for the March 16 Whitfield County special election begins that day and continues Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 12 at the Board of Elections office in the county courthouse.
The special election consists of a five-person race to fill the unexpired term of the late Roger Crossen for the District 3 seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. The winner will finish Crossen's unexpired term, which runs through the end of 2022. The ballot also has a measure on whether to grant commissioners the power to create tax allocation districts (TADs).
The five candidates for the commission seat are:
—Jonathan Bagley, director of procurement for chemical company Polyventive in Calhoun.
—Shannon Bearfield, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran who works in a medical lab.
—Shane Day, global sales director for Tiarco Chemical.
—John Thomas, a realtor and former member of the Whitfield County Board of Education.
—Chad "Bubba" Young, an insurance agent and former University of Georgia football player.
We encourage you to study up on the candidates, their views and vision for our county. The Daily Citizen-News is profiling all five candidates, with stories on two candidates already published with the remaining three scheduled for next week. Earlier this month, the League of Women Voters of the Dalton Area held an informative candidates forum with those seeking the commission seat. The forum is archived on the League of Women Voters of the Dalton Area's Facebook page and can be viewed anytime.
We also encourage residents to take advantage of early voting at the courthouse. Our professional team at the Board of Elections makes this process run extremely smoothly. Voting early means you won't have to deal with lines on Election Day at your precinct. It also ensures you won't forget about the election or miss voting due to something unforeseen.
We urge those who choose to vote early to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Although masks and face coverings are not required in any county-owned building, it's a good idea to wear one when going to vote early. Also practice the other U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reduce your chance of being infected with the virus by social distancing and having good hygiene.
Let's all work together to make advance voting as safe as possible.