What you need to know before heading to vote on Primary Day

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 has been covering the local elections from the beginning. Follow our coverage here.

Polls open up at 7 a.m. across 50 different polling locations in Augusta.

For information on your polling locations and to find a sample ballot, click here.

Polls will close at 7 p.m. If a runoff does occur, that will take place Aug. 21.

News 12 This Morning / Monday, July 30, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Before you head to the polls Tuesday, News 12 has a quick look at what you need to know before casting your ballot.

Polls open up at 7 a.m. across 50 different polling locations in Augusta.

When the polls open, Ronald Danforth never misses a chance to cast his ballot.

"I've been voting since 1968," he said.

Though he says all elections are important, Tuesday's primary holds significance for him in the form of the future of Richmond County's security and law enforcement.

"How involved the sheriff will be in the community is very important," Danforth said.

Lynn Bailey, the executive director at the Board of Elections in Augusta, explained, "We do have good contested races on both party's primaries. I think that's why we've seen the extra interest that we've seen and more people coming out to vote."

The numbers show more than 6,500 voters cast their ballots through advance voting last week. The majority picked Democratic ballots to cast, allowing voters to choose their top pick for top cop.

"You will have to choose either Democratic or Republican," Bailey said.

She says that's causing some confusion for voters who tend to vote along their party lines.

"The choices you make in a primary does not affect your vote in November in any way," Bailey explained.

Pick the Republican ballot, and you'll vote in the heated congressional race. Choose the Democratic ballot, and you'll have four sheriff's candidates to pick from.

"You can change it from primary to primary without having to do anything other than check off a different box," Bailey said.

"If you can't vote in your local elections, why vote in your national elections?" Danforth said.

With 25 to 35 percent of voters like Danforth expected to cast their ballot for this primary, Bailey is expecting a runoff this August.

"Both ballots have four candidates," she said. "So the likelihood when you have races with that many candidates is that you are going to have a runoff."

For information on your polling locations and to find a sample ballot, click here.

Polls will close at 7 p.m. If a runoff does occur, that will take place Aug. 21.

During that election you are bound by the party you picked during primaries, unless you vote using a non-partisan ballot. In that case, you can decide which runoff you want to vote in come the August runoff.


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