By Natalie Simms
Advance voting begins today for the General Primary Runoff on July 24 which includes four statewide races: Republican primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State and Democratic primary for State School Superintendent.
Meanwhile, the state investigation continues into May 22 voting in Rome and Floyd County. The Secretary of State’s Office reports that the investigation is “ongoing and continuing” into concerns about how some wrong ballots were handled in the advance voting and day-of voting in the primary. At issue: Some city of Rome ballots had Floyd County School Board races on them. The issue was discovered early in advance voting, but the decision was made locally to continue the early and election day vote. (None of the county school board members had opposition anyway).
Floyd County Elections Supervisor Dr. Willie Green says his department has learned several lessons from the incident.
“We have made some changes in terms of how the ballot is proofed internally and prepared,” says Green. “We’ve also made some changes in how we prepare the equipment for elections to ensure the ballot is correct.”
Otherwise, the Floyd Board of Elections has seen some positive news this year with the implementation of the EasyVote system.
“We implemented the EasyVote check-in system during advance voting for May 22 primary and got lots of positive comments from voters. It really made things more efficient and saved time in the voting process,” he says. “We also printed in-house ballots bringing a tax savings to the county.”
Floyd County saw an increase of nearly 75% in voter turnout in the May 22 primary compared to the last gubernatorial primary in 2014. There were 2.547 advance voters in May 2018 compared to the 1,400 voters during the May 2014 primary.
“We are expecting an early voter turnout increase of nearly 50% over the next three weeks compared to 2014 when we had 839 early voters,” says Green.
Advance voting runs through July 20, except July 4, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Floyd County Administration Building and Garden Lakes Baptist Church. There will be no Saturday voting this period.
A quick note on who is eligible to vote in the General Primary Runoff Election:
- If you did not cast a ballot in general primary on May 22, you are still eligible to vote in the primary runoff and choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot.
- If you cast a Republican ballot in May 22 primary, you must vote GOP in the runoff.
- If you cast a Democratic ballot in May 22 primary, you vote Democrat in the runoff.
- If you cast a Nonpartisan Ballot on May 22, you will be eligible to cast a ballot for either GOP or Democratic party.
To confirm voter registration, view sample ballots, or find your polling place, visit My Voter Page.
Advance voting begins July 2 through July 13 (closed July 4) on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration office, 1300 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy, Cartersville. Saturday voting will be held July 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The week of July 16-20, advance voting will be held at the Bartow Elections office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at the Cartersville Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sample ballot
Bartow Elections Supervisor Joseph Kirk expects a low turnout. “I really have no idea for this runoff. I never expected the turnout to be as light as it was for the Primary, and I don’t see any indication yet that it will change for the runoff so probably somewhere between 10% and 15%…that’s absolutely horrible, but is probably accurate,” he says.
Advance voting will be July 2-20 (closed on July 4), Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gordon County Board of Elections office located in the Gordon County Government Plaza, at 215 N. Wall St., Calhoun. There will not be Saturday voting for this runoff election. There are only state races on the Gordon County ballot. Gordon Elections Supervisor Shea Hicks predicts only 3,000 of the 15,000 registered voters in Gordon will cast ballots, so a 5% turnout.
Advance voting will be July 2-20 (except closed July 4), Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Polk County Board of Elections office at 144 West Avenue, Suite D, in Cedartown. All precincts open on Election Day, July 24 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.