I EARLY voted at the Macon County Office Building Thursday. After I finished I chatted with Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner in another part of the building about some voting misconceptions that are confusing more than a few voters. Josh told me that many residents who want to vote by mail believe that a “non-partisan ballot” means they will be able to vote in both the Democrat and Republican Primaries.
• JOSH Tanner also told me that early voting started off with the “normal” turnout the first few days when residents could cast their ballots but has been somewhat slower since then. One of the problems the county clerk faced each time the primary election was in the winter was that some of those people who would work as election judges were in Florida for the winter, but now that the primary election is on June 28th, some election judges will be on vacation and not available. Josh also told me that several people have come to his office to pick up sample ballots so they can get a better idea of what candidates they will be voting for when they cast their ballots. That’s especially a good idea since redistricting has taken place and your voting choice in candidates may be different than you expect this time around.
Check your new voter registration card and it will show what district races directly impact where you live. Josh has done a solid job serving as Macon County Clerk. Apparently that is the feeling among most people because he doesn’t have an opponent in this election or the general election. That represents a well-deserved “pat on the back” for Josh and his staff. He has always been great to work with me during his time in office.
• TODAY’S edition of the print and online editions of the Decatur Tribune contain sample ballots (pages 10 and 11) and other voting information (pages 7 and 26). The sample ballots list all of the candidates for the offices up for election in the June 28 Primary Election. I will admit that one race on my ballot when I early-voted caught me by surprise because I hadn’t checked my new voter’s registration card and I thought I would be voting in a different race. Fortunately, I knew the candidates on the ballot so I wasn’t completely dumbfounded when I made my choice. Check out the candidates in the various races and see which ones are running to represent the district where you live. You may be surprised.
• A RACE THAT is attracting more attention than I expected is the one for Circuit Court Judge in the Sixth Judicial District in Macon County to fill the vacancy of Hon. Thomas E. Little.
Two Republicans, Rodney Forbes and Shane Mendenhall, are running strong campaigns as we head to the June 28 Primary. Normally, judicial races are fairly low key, but this one is anything but low key. I’ve received far more letters to the editor endorsing Forbes or Mendenhall (several on page 2 and page 3 of the print edition and more to come next week) than any candidate in any other race — including congressional races. Both candidates have been actively campaigning so when voters make their choices on the Republican ballot, they will know a lot more about this race and the two candidates than normally happens in a judicial race.
• FATHER’S Day is Sunday and I have reprinted in the print and online editions a past Father’s Day “Viewpoint” about my dad that several of you requested I do. My mom and dad, Sam and Betty Osborne, passed away many years ago, but what I learned about what’s important in life remains a permanent part of me. It is critical that values on living are taught by example in the home and I always saw what I wanted to be in life in my mom and dad and the way they lived their lives and treated others. Happy Father’s Day to those fathers still with us in body … and those still with us in spirit.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider.