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Advance voting gets under way

COVINGTON -- Early voting is under way for the July 20 General Primary.

Early voting got under way Monday at the Board of Elections Office located in the Newton County Administration Building at 1113 Usher St., Suite 103. It will continue through Friday, July 16. Early voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There are 17 candidates vying for the two Board of Commissioners and three Board of Education seats on the ballot.

Local candidates are as follows:

* Board of Commissioners, District 2

Republican: Rickie Corley

Democrat: Earnest Simmons (incumbent), Lanier Sims

* Board of Commissioners, District 4

Republican: None

Democrat: J.C. Henderson (incumbent), Kenneth Hardeman

* Board of Education, District 1

Republican: Ronald Cary Hart; P. Jeffrey Meadors; Dale M. Thompson

Democrat: None

* Board of Education, District 3

Republican: Kevin Wade

Democrat: Shakila Baker; Pamela Consuegra; James Johnson Jr.; Tony D. Collins; Christine Brown

* Board of Education, District 5

Republican: Abigail Coggin; J. Timothy Walden

Democrat: Sharon Sawyer

State offices including House of Representatives Districts 95; 110 and 112 (an unopposed race) and State Senate District 17 are also on the ballot, along with the governor's race and other statewide and federal offices.

Residents do not have to declare a party when they register, but must stick to one party in the primary and any resulting runoffs.

Absentee voting is also under way. Residents may request an absentee ballot by mail by calling the Newton County Board of Elections Office at 770-784-2055 or visiting the Georgia Secretary of State's website at www.sos.georgia.gov.

The general election is set for Nov. 2.