That fact was made apparent Thursday with the posting of sample ballots on the Carroll County election website, www.elections.carrollcountyga.com.
First of all, voters will have to select one of three possible party ballots, according to Elections Supervisor Becky Deese. Those are Republican, Democratic or nonpartisan only.
“If you choose the nonpartisan ballot, you’ll be voting for only the nonpartisan judicial races, plus the referendums,” Deese said. “The Republican and Democratic ballots also have the nonpartisan races on them.”
All ballots will contain the referendum for the 1-cent transportation special purpose local option sales tax (T-SPLOST) for the 10-county Three Rivers District, which includes Carroll County.
Another referendum on Sunday sales of beer and wine is only for voters living inside the Temple city limits.
“The sample ballots online are only composite ballots,” Deese said. “The contests in which you cast votes will depend on where you live. We have 53 different ballots. The ballot you’re voting on election day could be different from the one the voter in the next booth is using.”
Deese said these ballot differences are due to the different districts falling in the same precinct. She said many of these district lines, for Carroll County Board of Commissioners, school board, state House and Senate and U.S. House, have changed due to the recent reapportionment that follows each 10-year census.
Voters can go online to the Georgia secretary of state website, sos.ga.gov, which has a feature that tells voters their districts in all the elections. She said people can also call the county election office, 770-830-5823, or go online to the county election website, if they have questions. The county website also has links to the secretary of state website. Printed versions of the sample ballots should be available in the county election office by the end of the month.
Both the Democratic and Republican ballots have some non-binding, straw poll questions which were put on the ballot by the parties to find out how voters feel about certain issues.
The Democratic ballot asks “yes” or “no” preference questions on school board decision overrides, lobbyist gifts, home energy tax credit and sales tax reduction for Georgia-made products.
The Republican ballot has similar straw poll preference questions on casino gambling, lobbyist gifts, gun permits for active duty military personnel, party affiliation on voter registration and right to life.
July 2 will be the final day to register to vote in the July 31 primary.
“We have copies of the registration form in the county office or you can print one from the secretary of state website,” Deese said. “You must have a printed form, with a signature. Online registration is not available.”
The completed and signed registration form can be taken to the county elections office or mailed in, with a postmark no later than July 2.
Residents age 17 and a half are allowed to register to vote, but they must be 18 years of age on election day to cast a ballot.
Deese said early voting will begin July 9. All early voting will be at the county elections office only, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The only Saturday voting in the early voting season will be at the county elections office on July 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The last day our office will be able to mail out absentee ballots is July 27, so all applications for absentee ballots need to be in by then,” Deese said. “No voting will be held on July 30, the day before the election.”
Deese added that no voting will be done in the elections office on the July 31 election day.
“You must vote in your precinct when you vote on election day,” she said.