Before carving into that turkey on Thanksgiving Day, local registered voters in Districts 1 and 5 mustn’t forget that today marks the final day of early voting for the Board of Education runoff races, so cast your ballots.

Even with all the momentum leading into this year’s general election — with statewide posts and U.S. Congressional districts to decide —  local runoffs traditionally don’t gain much traction among voters, but that certainly doesn’t lesson their impact or importance. The ballots cast this week during the three-day early voting period and on next Tuesday will help shape the future of the Baldwin County Board of Education, and this is the time to weigh in.

Voters in District 1 will decide between incumbent board member Wilbur Manson and retired educator Gloria Wicker, while voters in District 5 will cast ballots for either board chairman Jeff McAfee or local businessman Wes Cummings. By now, most of us are familiar with all the candidates, but if you aren’t, you should make an effort to find out more about them and their views on education. You may hear directly from the candidates at the website www.exploremilledgeville.org or visit our website archives at www.unionrecorder.com for follow coverage the coverage of the races leading up to next week’s runoff.

Local citizens in Districts 1 and 5 can vote early today at the Baldwin County Courthouse in room 104 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. And don’t forget to bring one of the six forms of required photo identification with you to the polls on Election Day:

— Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;

— Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);

— Valid U.S. passport;

— Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state;

— Valid U.S. military photo ID; or

— Valid tribal photo ID.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Let’s all give thanks for the opportunity to live in a nation where our voices can be heard at the polls and get to decide who and how we’re represented in local government. That’s something we shouldn’t take for granted and we should all be thankful for this season and beyond.

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