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Elections 2010 on the horizon
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Forsyth County News
What promises to be a long, dramatic and potentially historic general election process is now officially under way with the closing of qualifying Friday. Barring the addition of independent candidates, or the subtraction of candidates by withdrawal, the roster for summer primaries and fall’s election are set.

Over the next few weeks, voters will have an opportunity to participate in elections that promise to be historic in nature.

At the county level, county commissioners and school board members will be elected by districts rather than county-wide for the first time since a revamping of local governments.

At the state level, jockeying of candidates for new jobs has left many races without an incumbent seeking re-election, assuring significant change in the face of state government. Similar changes will take place in the General Assembly, where many legislators have vacated seats to seek higher office or chosen to end their tenure in public life.

The election season also offers the potential for confusion. A number of special elections are being held around the state next week to fill positions made vacant by the resignations of office holders.

Most of Forsyth County will have a chance to vote May 11 in the special election for the 9th Congressional District seat vacated by Nathan Deal in his quest for governor. That same seat will again be on the ballots for the primary in July, creating the possible scenario that one candidate could win the special election and serve the remainder of this year, while a different candidate wins the primary and general election for a two-year term starting in January.

Toss in the almost certain runoff in the congressional race, after both the special election and the primary, and you have a full summer of campaigning sure to leave voters shaking their heads.

A general wave of political malcontent washing across the nation has left many believing that the upcoming elections are vital for the future of the nation. Whether that will be the case remains to be seen, but one thing is certain — the most important element of any election season is the voter.

For voters to make intelligent decisions they have to be informed on the issues and involved in the process. The educational effort should be under way now; the call for action comes when the polls open. Be informed. Get involved. Vote.