Voters will be deciding four contested county races, as well as the T-SPLOST and U.S. Representative District 3 for Congress. Also on the ballot are a couple of statewide races for Public Service Commission in the Republican primary.
Each party also is surveying voters on possible future legislation. Answers are non-binding. A sample ballot is on page 5A with the candidates and questions as they appear on the ballot.
Voters will need to bring a government issued photo ID to vote and will be asked to select from non-partisan, Republican or Democrat ballots. All of the non-partisan questions are also on the partisan ballots.
The contested non-partisan races, which will be on every ballot are for Probate Court Judge. along with the 10-year, 10-county regional transportation sales tax or T-SPLOST. The rest of the non-partisan races are unopposed.
The candidates for Probate Court judge, to succeed retiring Judge DeWitt Simonton are Gerald Bailey, Jan Hunt, Kaye Landrum Norris and Cary Pope. On the Republican ballot, along with the non-partisan races, voters will be asked to select Clerk of Superior Court, between incumbent Marcia Norris and challenger Edith Ray, and whether they want to re-elect incumbent Congressman Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, or elect on of his challengers, Chip Flanegan of Jonesboro or Kent Kingsley of Milner.
For Spalding County Board of Commissioners, Republican voters in District 4 will choose between incumbent Eddie Freeman or challenger Bart Miller Jr. Democrat voters of District 3, will be choosing between incumbent Bob Gilreath and two chllengers, Rita Johnson and Greg McClarin, with the winner facing Republican challenger Michael Renew in November.
The following eight incumbents are running unopposed: Chief Magistrate Judge Rita Cavanaugh, State Court Judge Sidney Esary, Coroner Sonny Foster, Tax Commissioner Sylvia Hollums, Sheriff Wendell Beam, Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education members James R. Westbury Jr., District 2, and Barbara Jo Cook, District 4, as well as District 1 Spalding County Board of Commissioners member Gwen Flowers-Taylor. Foster, Hollums and Beam are running as Republicans and Flowers-Taylor as a Democrat, while the other unopposed positions are nonpartisan.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Election Day and close at 7 p.m. If you are already in line at 7 p.m. when the polls close, you will be allowed to vote, said Elections Supervisor Terry Colling.
If you are not sure where you should vote, please call 770-467-4245. A poll locator is also available on the website for the Georgia Secretary of State at www.sos.ga.gov.
Colling said results will posted on that site as well as they come in Tuesday night, after polls close. The state, she explained, has contracted with Clarity ENR to publish election returns on election night and counties are mandated to upload results at least three times during the course of the evening. Information about Clarity ENR can be found at www.soesoftware.com
Colling said the returns are not by precinct but will provide the viewer with a percentage complete. Spalding County’s results will show 99 percent complete at the end of the evening. “We do not process or count any provisional ballots until later in the week prior to the official certification of the election,” she explained.
“Because of this new program and a mandated change in the order our returns must be processed and published to the new website,” Colling said, “our office will no longer be providing a precinct breakdown of results on election night.”
One will be available later in the week as time permits, she said. “Only county-wide reports will be published during the actual consolidation of the votes on election night and will include results of all races/questions on the ballots.”
Colling said this is the first time this new software has been used in the State of Georgia. Election officials have been trained in the process of uploading and publishing our results. “We have also been running tests to make sure the software is working correctly on our end,” she said.
“However,” Colling said, “the contact we have had with what a viewer will see has been very limited. Because of this, we ask that you do not contact our office on election night with questions about the website. If, however, you have questions about any results that you see, please feel free to call us at 770-467-4245.”
The Spalding County Republican Party will be listening to results roll in, Tuesday night, at party headquarters, 119 South Hill St, between Taylor and Solomon streets.