Elections supervisor Julianne Roberts likes enthusiastic voters, but for the presidential primary race, where early voting began Monday, some are a little too eager.
“We had 79 early voters the first day,” Roberts said. “But many were here looking to vote for county commissioner or sheriff.”
Unfortunately, those local races won’t be up for decision until the May primary, with early voting starting April 27th.
The only thing to appear on the ballots now active are presidential choices. On the GOP, which normally is chosen by 90 percent of local voters or more, literally the only selection is Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.
The Democrats have a crowded field of selections. See sample ballot on page 3A.
For now, it is just Donald Trump on the Republican and the Democrat candidates on the Democrat ballot and that’s it, Roberts said.
One poll worker at the early voting location in the elections office on Pioneer Road said she has had several people comment that they turned out expecting to cast a local ballot because of all the yard signs recently sprouted here. It makes sense, she said, with there being more signs already out for the May primary than there are for the presidential preference vote.
Roberts said on day one of using of the new double-machine - digital voting with paper trail system - it had performed flawlessly. She said they had experienced no problems with the first 79 people who had come through at the time of this interview.
“Voters seem to be taking to it. The only complaint is the local races aren’t on the ballot and that is out of my control,” she said referring to the May primary.
The secretary of state gave a similarly hearty endorsement of the new machines statewide.
“We faced a Herculean task in providing a secure and reliable voting system for the state of Georgia in just a short time period but early results indicate that the new system is a success,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a Tuesday statement. “We are confident that the machines will take us through statewide elections not just in March, but long into Georgia’s future.”
Early voting for the presidential preference will run through March 20th, with Saturday, March 14th as the Saturday voting day (9 a.m. until 4 p.m.). All early voting is at the Pioneer Road office from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Voters need to remember to bring their identifications.
of key races
Reports filed in the elections office show Donnie Craig’s sheriff campaign as the largest fundraiser thus far in the May 19 primary election.
The financial disclosure reports filed by all candidates on January 30 showed Craig’s campaign had collected $22,565 from a number of local individuals and some businesses. Compared to other candidates, Craig listed more larger $500 or more donors. Candidates are required to list the name and occupation of any individual or business giving $101 or more. They are not required to list information, just the total of donations under $100.
Craig’s opponent Chris Tucker reported $8,669 over the same period.
In the commissioner’s race, challenger Kris Stancil reported a total of $20,455 with a long list of people who gave lesser amounts.
Incumbent Rob Jones reported $9,250 including $2,700 in his personal money put into the campaign that shows up as loans.
Elections supervisor Julianne Roberts said David Shouse, who announced his campaign for commission chair as an independent, had not filed a report yet, but entered the race officially much later than Jones and Stancil and if a candidate hadn’t either collected or spent $2,500, they aren’t required to file.
All candidates will next be required to file reports by April 30th.