May 24 primary election: what and who are on the ballot?


With the May 24 primary election approaching, it’s important to know what’s on the ballot and make your voting plan. Read on to find out who and what will be on the ballot in May, plus what you need to know to vote.

Governor primaries

This month, Republican and independent voters will choose which candidate will face Democrat Stacey Abrams and Libertarian Shane Hazel in the 2022 general election.

On the Republican primary ticket, incumbent Governor Brian Kemp will run against David Perdue, Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor and Tom Williams. Both Elbert Bartell and Speaker Boddie are in the running for governor as independents.

RELATED: Kemp Officially Against Perdue for Chance to Face Abrams in Governor’s Race

A run-off for the election is scheduled for June 21, with general elections set for November 8.

Departmental Commission

The Habersham County Commission seats for Districts 2 and 3 will be on the ballot, with only one seat contested.

Outgoing District 2 Commissioner Dustin Mealor is running for re-election unopposed, while outgoing District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Tench faces opposition from two candidates.

Cornelia’s Jason Mark Smith and Demorest’s Jimmy Dean both qualified to run against Tench.

Jimmy Dean, who ran for District 10 representative in 2020, announced March 2 that he would run against longtime commissioner Jimmy Tench.

“I plan to work with all county elected officials and organizations for the betterment of Habersham County,” Dean said in a press release. “I also want to make sure we preserve the serenity and beauty of our county that we all enjoy.”

Smith, a veteran, is the owner of JM Smith Engineering. He publicly announces his candidacy on March 7.

“I have dedicated a lifetime of service to his community and the nation and would like to use my experiences and continued commitment to serve in the betterment of my community,” Smith said via his Facebook campaign. “I would like to see the county moving towards developing better relationships between local municipalities and the county as a whole for the benefit of all communities in Habersham County.”

Board of Education

The terms of Habersham County School Board Districts 3, 4 and 5 seats will soon expire, but incumbents Russ Nelson, Kristie Dover and Joey Duncan will run unopposed on the ballot.

Voters will also choose whether or not to vote to maintain a 1% sales tax to benefit the county’s school system. ESPLOST will be on the ballot, which, much like SPLOST, collects a sales tax that is allocated to capital projects.

READ MORE: BOE talks about ESPLOST and growth ahead of Habersham tax vote in May


In local government, two municipalities, the City of Clarkesville and the City of Mt. Airy, will have local issues on their ballots.

The Clarkesville City Council has been vacant since December, when Clarkesville Councilman Steven Ward died suddenly.

Clarkesville had a qualified candidate to fill Ward’s seat on the commission: Brendon Ansley. The city originally held the qualifiers during the same block of time as the county, but no one qualified. They reopened qualifying for two more days, when Ansley applied.

In the city of Mt. Airy, voters will decide whether or not to allow liquor sales on Sundays. The vote comes shortly after several municipalities voted to allow liquor stores to open within their city limits, something Mt. Airy has held a monopoly on for years.


At this time, no sample ballots for the election have been released. But with changes to the way absentee voting is handled and a temporary constituency location, voters should look ahead to crafting their voting plan.

Those wishing to vote by mail should request an absentee ballot from the Habersham County Elections Office by completing this application. You must request your absentee ballot no later than May 13. For more information on postal voting, click here.

Early voting will begin on Monday, May 2 and will continue through May 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Saturday voting will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on May 7 and 14.

Advance Voting Week is May 16-20, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

All early, Saturday and advance voting will take place at Habersham North Precinct.

Election Day will be May 24, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at county polling places. These constituencies are:

* Habersham North Precinct (Town of Clarkesville Precinct)
Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center
120 Paul Franklin Road, Toccoa Highway
Clarkesville, Georgia 30523

Habersham South Precinct (Town of Cornelia Precinct)
Cornelia Community House (TEMPORARY LOCATION)
601 Wyly Street
Cornelia, Georgia 30523

Demorest District (City of Demorest City)
Concord Baptist Church
250 Alabama Street (former Demorest Elementary Cafeteria)
Demorest, Ga 30535

Town of Mount Airy (TOWN VOTERS ONLY)
Town hall, old school
1231 Dicks Hill Drive
Mount Airy, Ga 30563

City of Baldwin City (TOWN VOTERS ONLY)
Town Hall, (Old Habersham Bank)
186 Highway 441 bypass
Baldwin, Ga 30511

Mud Creek Neighborhood (Town of Alto)
Grant Baptist Church of British Columbia
1405 BC Grant Rd (stock room)
Alto, Ga 30510

Amy’s Creek neighborhood
Amy’s Creek Fire Department
6357 State Highway. 17
Clarkesville, Georgia 30523

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