Don’t Wait on Iowa, Georgians Can Vote Now

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Voting in Georgia for the Presidential Preference Primary began 20 days ahead of the Iowa Caucuses, and 28 days ahead of the February 8, New Hampshire Primary date. Georgians who want to vote now for a presidential candidate in the Democrat or Republican Preference Primaries can do so by voting a mail-in absentee ballot.

“In Georgia, we have a very responsive system for the public that allows voters to cast their ballot at their convenience. This, paired with our Online Voter Registration website (OLVR), gives unprecedented access to the polls for Georgia voters,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Georgia law allows for “no fault absentee voting” so registered voters can request a mail-in absentee ballot from their local elections office for any reason up to 45 days ahead of a federal election date. Georgia’s Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for March 1 as a part of the regional “SEC Primary”.

Advance in-person voting will begin on Monday, February 8, 2016, one day ahead of the New Hampshire Primary. This advance voting period will include Saturday voting in all counties on Saturday, February 20. The polls are open for advance in-person voting in every Georgia county during normal business hours. Election Day polling will take place on March 1 when polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Voters can check their early voting or Election Day voting location as well as view their sample ballot on the Secretary of State’s MVP website: They can also register to vote at:, or download the GA Votes app on their Apple or Android smartphone. The voter registration deadline for the March 1 Primary is Monday, February 1, 2016.

“I encourage voters who are excited about their candidate to take advantage of these early voting opportunities. Voters can also encourage their family, friends, and coworkers to use OLVR or GA Votes to ensure every eligible Georgia voter gets registered before this historic election.”

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders.

Are you protected from the Flu?

Are you protected from the flu? *According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is increasing in the U.S., and the usual time for flu season to peak is just ahead. The best way to protect against the flu is with a flu shot. Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and time missed from work and school due to the flu, and a shot can prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in, so now is the perfect time to get vaccinated!

North Georgia Health District public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have flu vaccine and no appointment is necessary. Please contact your local health department for more information:

  • Cherokee: Canton (770) 345-7371 / Woodstock (770) 928-0133
  • Fannin (706) 632-3023
  • Gilmer (706) 635-4363
  • Murray (706) 695-4585
  • Pickens (706) 253-2821
  • Whitfield (706) 279-9600


For more information about flu and its prevention, log onto


Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson of the Supreme Court of Georgia will deliver the annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Legislature Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. in House Chambers at the Capitol.

As head of the judicial branch, the Chief Justice will speak this year about Georgia’s court system in the 21st century and his vision for the future. Part of that vision includes an historic change in the types of cases handled by the state’s highest court, as recommended by Governor Deal’s Commission on Appellate Jurisdiction. Modernizing the court will bring it in line with other state Supreme Courts, which handle cases that have the greatest implications for the law and society at large.

“We are no longer living in a 1950s Georgia,” Chief Justice Thompson will say. Litigation has become more complex, and courts must be equipped to handle an increasingly diverse population.

“We must be ready to help resolve the disputes of international businesses that are increasingly locating in our state and capital,” the Chief Justice will say. “We must be armed with qualified, certified interpreters, promote arbitration as an alternative to costly, courtroom-bound litigation, ensure that all those who cannot afford lawyers have an avenue toward justice, and be constantly updating technology with the aim of improving our courts’ efficiency while saving literally millions of dollars.”

Media will receive an embargoed copy of the speech at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The public can view the speech live on the Internet by going to Media interested in obtaining a live feed should contact Tiffany Edmonson today at Encompass Digital Media to reserve satellite time. You can reach Tiffany at 678-421-6826 or