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advance voting has begun at Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration on Water S

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​ I was advanced voter number 294 during lunchtime at the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration on Water Street in the small building adjacent to the Oconee County Courthouse off Main Street in downtown Watkinsville. When you arrive a very soft spoken poll worker asked me to get my proof of Identification ready to show to the next set of poll workers behind the counter. There they will make you sign a piece of paper essentially affirming that you are indeed you, and will ask you which of the three ballots you would like to cast. Selecting a Democratic Party ballot doesn’t mean you are necessarily Democratic, nor does selecting a Republican ballot mean you are Republican in your personal political philosophy necessarily either. You may also select a nonpartisan ballot, but then you don’t get to choose anyone in the local races for the Board of Education for example on the GOP side of the ledger. Should you be so inclined as to grab a Republican ballot, I would strongly urge

Greg Bluestein talks to Professor Audrey Haynes about his book “Flipped” at UGA’s Special Collections Library

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Stacey Abrams

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Stacey Abrams speaking Tuesday afternoon at Georgia Theater in Athens

​Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams is speaking tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22, at 4 pm at the Georgia Theater on Lumpkin Street in downtown Athens, Georgia. Doors will open at 3:30 pm

Synovus in downtown Watkinsville closing

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​ I love this bank, and it is the closest financial institution to my place of employment. We have an account or two or three there. All the employees are really nice and send me birthday cards and the whole nine yards. So I was very disappointed to receive a letter in the mail this morning telling me that they plan to close this branch permanently soon. I think that this is a loss not only for Watkinsville but for all of Oconee County as well. I hope at the very least that they will keep the Automatic Teller Machine there for the time being. I hope that they are not terminating any of their wonderful and personable employees. We do not need higher unemployment rates locally or statewide either. This former Athens First Bank and Trust (now Synovus) was a welcome addition to the landscape of businesses in downtown Watkinsville.  Synovus is keeping their Butler’s Crossing location open 

Horton, Harden, Mauck first three candidates to qualify, with Rogers close behind on Day One of Qualifying for Local Races

 Qualifying for the four positions (two on the Board of Commissioners, two on the Board of Education) began today and continue through noon Friday at the the Board of Elections office on Water Street next to the Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville. Two incumbents on the Board of Commissioners were among the first to re-qualify for re-nomination and probable re-election Monday Morning. Commissioners Chuck Horton and Amrey Harden were eager to sign their names and pay their qualifying fees for their second consecutive terms (although both have long and storied political careers in Oconee County). Both are retired, but remain active in many different organizations in the community, and will talk to you regardless of whether you are a Democratic partisan, a Republican participant, an independent or something else all together.  Assuming neither get an opponent (and that seems likely even in this volatile political climate), they will both have my enthusiastic endorsement and will most like

New candidate in the open Oconee County BOE race

  Realtor Elliot Rogers joins the race for an open seat on the Oconee County School Board: Rogers joins Julie Mauck and Ryan Hammock in the race to replace Wayne Bagley, who says he is not running for another term on the School Board in Watkinsville.

Movies Filmed at UGA and Athens, Ga (Montage)

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Marc McCain campaigns illegally in Morgan Manor Estates subdivision, while Paul Broun complies with the law

 Today I received a flier from 10th District GOP congressional candidate Marc McCain sticking out of the flag of my mail box at my home in Morgan Manor Estates subdivision in Watkinsville, Evidently this is the first time McCain or his volunteers have canvassed because they should know it is illegal to place campaign literature in, on, or on top of any mail receptacle without proper postage affixed or otherwise using the United States Postal Services. You may place any campaign brochure or literature in the door of the residence, leave it on the porch, or just about anywhere except the mailbox. Campaigning 101 was evidently not taken by this volunteer. The USPS owns your mailbox, and is the only body that can place things in their legally (along with Amazon and the like).  Last night just after sunset I heard a knock on my door and it was a volunteer for Dr. Paul Broun asking if I wanted a flier from his campaign. I politely declined, even though Dr. Broun did get me an invitation to t

Ryan Hammock is accepting donations and has a sign up for yard signs at his website now

 https://www.ryanhammockocsb.com I donated $25.00 to the campaign of Ryan Hammock the other day in his campaign against Julie Mauck for the Board of Education nomination in Oconee County. As many of you already know, the Republican nomination in Oconee County is often tantamount to General Election around here in this still very red county. There is some talk of a Democratic challenger to whoever wins this post, but no Democratic candidate has been elected to the Board of Education in quite some time in Oconee County. Ryan Hammock is a banker with Pinnacle Bank here in Oconee County. He does not seem so ideological bound as his opponent. He is also a volunteer treasurer with the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation. He has three children, only one of who is old enough to be enrolled in the school system currently, but is looking at 11 years of having children enrolled at Dove Creek.  I would sincerely encourage all Oconee County voters to support Hammock in his campaign for the Board of Edu