If you can't wait until Nov. 6 to cast your ballot, your wait is over.
Early voting begins on Monday in Cobb and elsewhere in Georgia, with a presidential election and various state and local races to be decided.
The main Cobb Elections office, located at 736 Whitlock Avenue in Marietta, is the only place to vote early through Oct. 24. That location also will hold early voting through the end of the early voting period on Nov. 2. The main office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Cobb Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway, will hold early voting on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 25-26, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, early voting will take place at the Cobb Elections office and the Cobb Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
East Cobb voters can vote closer to home from Oct. 29-Nov. 2 at the East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
In Northeast Cobb, Noonday Baptist Church, 3121 Canton Road, also will serve as an early voting location, also from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29-Nov. 2.
The other early voting satellite locations in Cobb are open the same days and hours as East Cobb and Noonday:
- Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Center, Smyrna;
- NorthStar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road, Kennesaw;
- Boots Ward Recreation Center, Lost Mountain Park, 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs;
- South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Drive, Mableton;
- South Cobb Recreation Center, 875 Six Flags Drive, Austell.
The voting-by-mail option also is available by going to the Cobb Elections website and downloading the ballot. Patch blogger Mike Holzknecht wrote last week about the benefits of what's commonly called absentee voting.
At the top of the ballot is the presidential race, with Democratic incumbent Barack Obama facing opposition from Republican nominee and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Also on the presidential ballot is Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico.
The main statewide races in Georgia are for two seats on the Public Service Commission. Incumbents Stan Wise of Marietta and Chuck Eaton, both Republicans, have drawn re-election opposition.
All three of Cobb's incumbent Congressmen have general election opponents:
- Tom Price, a Republican who represents the 6th District (East and Northeast Cobb), faces Democrat Jeffrey Kazanow;
- Phil Gingrey of Marietta, a Republican who represents the 11th District, is being opposed by Democrat Patrick Thompson;
- Democratic Congressman David Scott, whose 13th District includes parts of South Cobb, has a Republican challenger in S. Malik.
Only four members of the Cobb legislative delegation have competitive races in the general election.
The contested races for elected office in county government were decided in the primaries. Incumbent Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee was re-elected in a Republican runoff; while Democratic incumbent Woody Thompson was defeated by challenger Lisa Cupid to represent South Cobb.
Bob Ott, a Republican representing parts of East Cobb and Smyrna, was re-elected without opposition.
On the Cobb Board of Education, Democratic incumbent Alison Bartlett is being opposed by Republican Brad Wheeler for the Post 7 seat, which covers parts of central and west Cobb.
Incumbents David Morgan, a Democrat in South Cobb, and David Banks, a Republican in East Cobb, will begin serving new terms in January.
At least one new face on the school board is guaranteed. Republican Randy Scamihorn, a retired teacher in the Cobb County School District, was unopposed for the Post 1 seat (North Cobb) held by Lynnda Eagle, who decided not to run for re-election.
The hot button ballot issue involves charter schools, and whether the Georgia Department of Education should be granted approval to grant charter status, superseding the decision of local school boards.
Please see the attached PDFs for early voting details and a consolidated Cobb sample ballot.