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Covington council encourages voter participation in upcoming election

COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington City Council members took time during Monday night's meeting to encourage residents to participate in the upcoming Nov. 7 municipal elections. 

Councilman Chris Smith encouraged residents to get informed about each candidate by attending a special candidate forum Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Historic Newton County Courthouse from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The forum will include candidates from all of the contested elections in Newton County, he said. 

Councilman Kenneth Morgan said it is a citizen's right to participate in the election. 

"I just want to remind everybody it's an election year," he said. "I always want to encourage everybody to go out and vote and exercise the right and privilege that you have to vote. A lot of people lost their lives for us to have an opportunity to be a part of what goes on in America so I encourage everybody to go out.

"It's the democratic process, so go out and vote."

Councilman Josh McKelvey echoed what the other councilmembers had said. 

"Make sure when you go out and vote you just don't vote because someone told you to. Do your research, get educated and don't do it in vain or take advantage of it," he said. 

He also encouraged continued civility throughout the election cycle. 

"Y'all keep it civil during this election," he said. "It's going to tear our town apart if we keep going at each other being nasty and dirty and threatening business owners and intimidating people. It's below board and let's do right by Covington and just stick together during this election."

Councilman Michael Whatley and Councilwoman Ocie Franklin, who is running for reelection, continued to emphasize the right to vote. 

"I do want everybody to get out and participate in the election," Whatley said. "It's a right but it's a duty. If you're going to complain about something, be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem."

According to the Georgia Secretary of State's website, voter registration for the Nov. 7 election ends Oct. 10 and early voting begins Oct. 16.