What you need to know for the upcoming primary runoff

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 17, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Advanced voting for the upcoming runoff finished up Friday at 6 p.m. Election officials say the turnout for early voting has been very good, and they are expecting 20 to 30 percent of voters to turn out on Tuesday for the primary runoff, but there's a few things you should know before you head to the polls.

As far as the ballot goes, you couldn't ask for a more straight-forward one. There's only one question to answer on both the Democrat and Republican ballots in Richmond County, but not everything about the runoff election is quite so simple.

Aleshia Wills came downtown to vote Friday, and says, "It was very confusing. That was just so messed up. I didn't know it was going to be like that."

She filled out her paperwork stating that she was Republican but didn't see her candidate on the ballot.

"That's what I wish. That you could come in and get the form and you could vote within your own party," she said.

In the primary election and primary runoff, you must choose a party and stick to it, something that is confusing to a lot of voters.

Nikki Wright is a Richmond County voter, and she doesn't like this state-wide policy, saying, "The best person for the job isn't always the party that you're normally with, so yes, it's kind of frustrating."

Travis Doss, the assistant director at the Richmond County Board of Elections, clears up a few things, saying, "You do have to stay with whatever vote you did in the primary, so if you voted Democrat in the primary, you have to vote Democrat in the runoff, same thing if you voted Republican in the primary, you have to follow through."

But, if you forgot to vote in the primary a few weeks ago, there's good news.

"If you did not vote at all in the primary, you can still vote in the runoff as long as you are registered to vote," Doss said.

And you are free to choose either ballot, Democrat or Republican: both heated races in Richmond County.

The polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m. and will be open until 6 p.m., just make sure to bring a photo ID when you head to your polling station.

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