Georgia’s Primary Election is Tuesday. A record number of Georgia voters voted early this year, but if you weren’t one of them, here is a guide to help you when you go to the polls Tuesday.
How a primary election works
First thing’s first, Tuesday’s election is a primary. That means you will be asked if you want a Democratic ballot, a Republican ballot, or a nonpartisan ballot when you arrive at the polls. If you pick the Republican ballot you will only be presented with Republican candidates. If you pick the Democratic ballot, you will only see Democratic candidates. If you pick the nonpartisan ballot, it means you don’t intend to vote for any Democrats or Republicans in the primary.
The purpose of a primary is for members of each political party to choose their preferred candidate in the November election. When you cast your vote, you are not voting for governor, you are voting for the candidate you want to face the other party’s candidate for governor in November. The only decisive races on Tuesday would be races where there is only one candidate running in one party and no candidates opposing them from the other party.
Crossing party lines
You can choose either ballot in a primary, it doesn’t matter which party you are a member of. Republicans can choose a Democratic ballot and Democrats and choose a Republican ballot. This is a common tactic that allows Democrats and Republicans to vote against candidates they don’t want to see on the November ballot.
Let’s talk about runoffs
Many of the races on the ballot have more than two candidates. That means runoff elections are highly likely for those races. The only way a candidate can avoid a runoff is to get more than 50% of the vote. If there is a runoff, you are locked into the ballot you chose during the primary. If you are a Democrat who chose a Republican ballot and the Democrats go to a runoff, you can’t vote in the Democratic runoff, on the Republican one.
The date for runoffs in this election cycle is June 21.
What are we voting for?
This is a midterm election, so there are several different types of elections taking place. Every statewide office is up for election, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State School Superintendent, and Attorney General. All seats in the state legislature are also up, so you will be voting for who represents your area under the Gold Dome. Also, U.S. Congressional seats are up for reelection this year.
Some areas also have local school board seats up for election this year, in addition to ballot initiatives such as local taxes.
In Georgia, a photo ID is required to vote. Most commonly, this is your driver’s license, but you can also use any federal or military ID, a passport or any state issued ID. If you’re an employee of any level of government, you can use your employee ID. If you have none of these forms of identification, you can visit your county office of voter registration to obtain a free voter ID.
For most Georgia residents polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Employers in Georgia are also required to allow time off to vote.
Below are the candidates running in statewide races — the offices everyone in Georgia gets to vote for. Races are divided by party and links to candidates’ websites are provided where possible so that you can find out about each candidates views for yourself. Candidates are listed in the alphabetical order as they appear on the ballot.
The Georgia Sun will have live election coverage on election day and live results coverage of these races and several others throughout the state as results come in on Election night.
Governor – Democrat
MORE INFORMATION: What does Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor do?
MORE INFORMATION: What does the Georgia Secretary of State do?
MORE INFORMATION: What does Georgia’s Attorney General do?
Commissioner of Agriculture – Republican
MORE INFORMATION: What does Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture do?
MORE INFORMATION: What does Georgia’s Commissioner of Insurance do?
MORE INFORMATION: What does the state superintendent of schools do?
Justice of Supreme Court of Georgia – Nonpartisan
Verda M. Colvin (Incumbent)
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