GAINESVILLE - Voters going to the polls Tuesday in Georgia's primaries will find more than just contested races for offices such as governor, senator, county commission, school board, etc.
In addition to a number of non-binding "questions" on many of the Democratic and Republican ballots, "binding" referendums on one issue or another will be on the ballots in many counties across the state.
In Forsyth County, for instance, voters will decide the fate of a $195 million school bond issue. The money, if the issue passes, would be used for two new schools (a middle school and a high school), renovations to existing facilities and school technology and safety.
The estimated cost of the new middle school, with a projected opening of 2016, is $31.5 million. The cost of the new high school is pegged at $51.6 million and its projected opening is 2018. The middle school would be built on land owned by the school system adjacent to Brandywine Elementary School, which is expected to open in 2016 and is funded with state money and money from another bond (not included in Tuesday's referendum). However, the school system does not own any land for the new high school.
Early voting ended statewide on Friday and polls on Tuesday, as usual, will be open from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
There are likely to be runoffs in many races and those will not be held until July 22 because of a court order designed to give plenty of time for overseas absentee ballots to be returned for federal runoffs. The Georgia General Assembly earlier this year voted to have the state runoff election calendar coincide with any federal runoffs. Until now, Georgia had typically held all runoffs 3-4 weeks after an election.
LOCALS IN STATEWIDE CONTESTS
Three Hall County residents are seeking statewide offices for the first time.
Ashley Bell of Gainesville is running for state Schools Superintendent and Craig Lutz of Flowery Branch is running for a seat on the state Public Service Commission. Both hope to become the Republican nominee for those posts.
Amanda Swafford, meanwhile, is the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Swafford, who is also from Flowery Branch, will not be on Tuesday's ballot but she will be on the General Election ballot in November.
WHERE TO VOTE
Some North Hall voters, those in the Quillians Precinct, will cast ballots at a new place - the North Hall Community Center on Nopone Road. In recent years, the Quillians voting location was Wauka Mountain Elementary School.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is reminding voters that they can verify their polling location by visiting his office's My Voter Page