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Election qualifying to begin tomorrow
Candidates have a week to throw hats in the ring
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The election for sheriff and other local positions will become official this week when candidates complete the qualifying process.

Qualifying for the November elections begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and ends at noon Friday. Those seeking to run must file their intents and pay the required fees at the Liberty County Board of Elections and Registration office on South Commerce Street.

Seats are up for grabs on the Liberty County Board of Education for districts four, five and six, and for the position of chairperson.

A special election will be held for the position of sheriff in accordance with Official Code of Georgia Annotated 15-16-8, after the death of Sheriff J. Don Martin last month.

Generally, candidates pay fees based on a percentage of the position’s salary. Individuals who declare their candidacy for BoE chairperson must pay $256.

BoE district candidates are responsible for a $180 fee, said Liberty County Supervisor of Elections Ella Golden.

To qualify for any of the BoE positions, an individual must be a Georgia citizen, have been a resident in the county from which he or she is elected for 12 months immediately before the election, be a qualified voter and live in the school district from which he or she seeks election.

Potential candidates cannot be employed by the governing board of a private institution, the local board of education, the State Department of Education or State Board of Education.

Candidates for sheriff must pay a fee of $2,270.25, Golden said.

To qualify for the sheriff’s race, an individual must have been a resident of the county for at least two years immediately before the election, be a registered voter who is at least 25 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent and must go through a criminal record check. Candidates also must be registered peace officers or certified peace officers.

So far, Steve Sikes, Jerald Burgess, Rondy Bacon and Quinton O’Neal have announced their intentions to run for sheriff.

General primaries for Georgia governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, school superintendent and commissioners of insurances, agriculture and labor will be July 20.

The Midway advanced voting precinct will be open until July 16 for the primary elections, according to Golden.

"Voters can already come out and vote now. We have the Midway advanced voting precinct open for voters’ convenience," she said.

The general elections and the special election for sheriff will be Nov. 2.

Voter registration forms are available at every municipality’s city hall, the main voter election office and the library or online at The last day to register to vote for the Nov. 2 election is Oct. 4.

Once all candidacy information is turned in, Golden said a sample ballot will be available for voters online at

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