Primary election is Tuesday

Published 3:43 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

Next Tuesday, July 31, Georgia’s general primary and non-partisan elections will be held.

All nine of the county’s polling places will be open on Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Advance voting ended Friday and will not be conducted on Monday.

Due to the nature in which primary elections are held in Georgia, registered voters have to select whether they want a ballot with Republican or Democrat candidates. Choosing one ballot or the other is a one-time decision and does not bind a voter to a specific party for future elections, Decatur County Chief of Elections Doris White said.

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The ballot for voters of both parties will contain a referendum question on the proposed one-cent T-SPLOST sales tax, which would be used for transportation projects and public transit improvements.

Voters will also be asked ballot questions concerning charter schools, the ability of lobbyists to give gifts to state legislators, an income tax credit for home energy costs, a sales tax break on Made in Georgia products.


Contested races on the ballot

Contested races in the July 31 primary include:

• U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District: Republican candidates are John House of Columbus, Ga., Rick Allen of Columbus, and Ken DeLoach of Warner Robins, Ga. The winner of the Republican primary will face incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop of Albany, Ga.

• Sheriff: Wiley Griffin, incumbent (D); Brock Washington, challenger (D)

• County Board of Commissioners, District 3: Charles T. Stafford, incumbent (D); Dennis Brinson, challenger (D)

• County Board of Commissioners, District 5: Russell Smith, incumbent (D); Max Bryant, challenger (D). The winner will face Republican candidate Terry Ellis in November.

• Board of Education, District 1: Kelvin Bouie, Debbie Elkins

• Board of Education, District 3: Winston Rollins (incumbent), George Washington Jr., Michele Miller

• Brinson Council (special election): Herman Hatton, Jesse Powell


Voters will need to show photo ID

Georgia law requires Georgia residents to show photo identification when voting in person.

The IDs acceptable are the following: Any valid state or federal government photo ID, including a free voter ID card issued by the Decatur County registrar’s office located at the Courthouse Annex at the corner of Water and Crawford streets or the Georgia Department of Driver Services; a Georgia driver’s license, even if expired; valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state; valid U.S. passport ID; valid U.S. military photo ID; and valid tribal photo ID.

For additional information about Georgia’s photo ID requirement please visit


Voters can view sample ballots online

For more information on Georgia elections, including a list of the candidates who have qualified for state government positions, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s elections Web site at

Citizens who want to check their voter registration status, locate where they vote, look at a sample ballot and find out more voting-related information can visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” at To use the site, voters just need to enter their name, county of registration and their birthday.

Voters can also call the Decatur County Board of Elections office at (229) 243-2087.

View the high-resolution sample ballots by clicking on the images seen below (they are about 100 kb to 200 kb in size, but should download quickly on high-speed Internet connections).