Early voting for the Nov. 8 municipal elections in Grovetown and Harlem, and for Grovetown's package alcohol sales referendum, is now underway.
City residents wishing to cast an early or absentee ballot can do so at the Columbia County Board of Elections office, 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, Evans, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays Monday through Oct. 28.
Advanced voting will be available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. weekdays Oct. 31 through Nov. 4.
The race for two Grovetown city council seats includes incumbent Councilwoman Jennifer Jones, who along with former mayor Dennis Trudeau filled the unexpired terms when former city councilmen Barry Davis and Robert Newman resigned in January. Trudeau is not seeking re-election.
Also vying for the seats are Theoplis Knight, who ran and lost in 2007, and Dale Stoddard, brother of current Councilman Bruce Stoddard.
Mayor George James will run unopposed for his second four-year term.
Also on the ballot in Grovetown will be a referendum to allow the sale of packaged alcohol on Sundays. If passed, the referendum would allow package, grocery and convenience stores to sell liquor, beer and wine on Sundays.
In 2005, city voters approved a referendum to allow by-the-drink alcohol sales on Sundays at restaurants. If the new referendum passes, Grovetown might, for now, become the only location in Columbia County to buy packaged alcohol on Sundays.
In Harlem, incumbent city Councilman Tom Blalock, who has served nearly eight years on the council, will face four opponents for two of the available seats. C.D. Morris, a 23-year city council veteran until 2000, joined the race along with Melonie Dappie, who vied and lost in 2008 and 2010, and Harlem's Assistant Fire Chief Gregg Stokes.
The other available seat is that of city Councilwoman Robin Root, who chose not to seek reelection.
The elections are nonpartisan and the two city council candidates with the most votes win the seats. Only registered voters in Harlem and Grovetown will be eligible to vote in their respective cities.
Call the Board of Elections office at (706) 868-3355 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.