Record turnout for early vot­ing

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner DWag­ner@RN-T.com

About 36,000 Floyd County vot­ers could be headed to the polls Tues­day to cast bal­lots in the 2016 elec­tion, which fea­tures a vir­tu­ally tied gu­ber­na­to­rial race at the top of the ticket.

Lo­cally, there are three con­tested races to de­cide.

All vot­ers will have a choice in the Floyd County Com­mis­sion Post 1 race be­tween in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Rhonda Wal­lace and Demo­cratic chal­lenger Stephanie Wright, and in the state Se­nate Dis­trict 52 race be­tween in­cum­bent Chuck Huf­stetler, a Repub­li­can, and Evan Ross, a Demo­crat.

The House Dis­trict 13 seat, which covers all of Rome and much of the sur­round­ing un­in­cor­po­rated area, also is on some bal­lots. The elec­tion is be­tween in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Katie Dempsey and Demo­crat John Bur­nette II.

The can­di­dates an­swer ques­tions about their pri­or­i­ties on pages A6 and A7 of to­day’s pa­per.

Three weeks of early in-per­son vot­ing ended Fri­day with 14,779 peo­ple weigh­ing in, Elec­tions Board Chair Steve Miller said, call­ing it a record.

“This is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily large elec­tion in re­gards to the turnout of ad­vanced vot­ers … This could also be a pre­cur­sor to a long night on Tues­day, but we are as pre­pared as we could be and will be post­ing re­sults as quickly as it is phys­i­cally pos­si­ble,” he said.

In­clud­ing ab­sen­tee bal­lots al­ready mailed in, a to­tal of 15,847 votes have been cast, ac­cord­ing to Ge­or­giaVotes. com, which merges sev­eral re­ports from the sec­re­tary of state’s data­base. The county has 52,547 vot­ers who reg­is­tered by the dead­line, which means 30 per­cent have al­ready voted.

About 36 per­cent of the early vot­ers did not vote in the 2014 midterms, ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­giaVotes pro­gram.

In ad­di­tion to the lo­cal and state races, there are five pro­posed con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments and two bal­lot ques­tions. Miller said lines will move faster if vot­ers fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with that part of the bal­lot be­fore en­ter­ing the polls.

Per­son­al­ized sam­ple bal­lots are avail­able on the Ge­or­gia My Voter Page web­site. A bal­lot show­ing all the op­tions for Tues­day is on

What ev­ery­one will see on their bal­lots:

For Gov­er­nor (Vote for One)

Brian Kemp, Repub­li­can Stacey Abrams, Demo­crat Ted Metz, Lib­er­tar­ian Qual­i­fied write-ins: Tod Mack, Bobby Wal­drep, Bobby Wil­liams

For Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor (Vote for One)

Ge­off Dun­can, Repub­li­can Sarah Riggs Amico, Demo­crat

For Sec­re­tary of State (Vote for One)

Brad Raf­fensperger, Repub­li­can John Bar­row, Demo­crat Smythe Du­Val, Lib­er­tar­ian

For At­tor­ney Gen­eral (Vote for One)

Chris Carr, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent) Char­lie Bai­ley, Demo­crat

For Com­mis­sioner of Agri­cul­ture (Vote for One)

Gary Black, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Fred Swann, Demo­crat

For Com­mis­sioner of In­sur­ance (Vote for One)

Jim Beck, Repub­li­can Jan­ice Laws, Demo­crat Don­nie Fos­ter, Lib­er­tar­ian

For State School Su­per­in­ten­dent (Vote for One)

Richard Woods, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Otha E. Thorn­ton Jr., Demo­crat Qual­i­fied write-in: So­nia Fran­cis-Rolle

For Com­mis­sioner of La­bor (Vote for One)

Mark But­ler (In­cum­bent), Repub­li­can

Richard Keat­ley, Demo­crat

For Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Dis­trict 3

(Vote for One)

Chuck Ea­ton, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Lindy Miller, Demo­crat Ryan Gra­ham, Lib­er­tar­ian

For Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Dis­trict 5

(Vote for One)

Tricia Pride­more, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Dawn A. Ran­dolph, Demo­crat John Turpish, Lib­er­tar­ian

For State Sen­a­tor from Dis­trict 52 (Vote for One)

Chuck Huf­stetler, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Evan Ross, Demo­crat

For Floyd County Com­mis­sion, Post 1

(Vote for One)

Rhonda Wal­lace, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent) Stephanie Wright, Demo­crat

For Floyd County Com­mis­sion, Post 4

(Vote for One)

Larry Maxey, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

For Floyd County Com­mis­sion, Post 5

(Vote for One)

Scotty Han­cock, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

For Coosa River Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (Vote for One)

Jar­rell R. Ca­gle (In­cum­bent)

ONLY COUNTY RES­I­DENTS WILL SEE:

For Floyd County School Board, Dis­trict 1

Chip Hood, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

For Floyd County School Board, Dis­trict 4

Tony Daniel, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

THOSE IN THE FOL­LOW­ING DIS­TRICTS WILL SEE:

U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Dis­trict 14

Tom Graves, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

Steven Lamar Fos­ter, Demo­crat

State rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Dis­trict 12

Ed­die Lums­den, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent) State rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Dis­trict 13 Katie Dempsey, Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent)

John Bur­nette II, Demo­crat State rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Dis­trict 14 Chris­tian Coomer Repub­li­can (In­cum­bent) PRO­POSED CON­STI­TU­TIONAL AMEND­MENTS Cre­ates the Ge­or­gia Out­door Stew­ard­ship Trust Fund to pro­tect water qual­ity, wildlife habi­tat, and parks. House Res­o­lu­tion No. 238 Res­o­lu­tion Act No. 414

Ga. L. 2018, p. 1138 With­out in­creas­ing the cur­rent state sales tax rate, shall the Con­sti­tu­tion of Ge­or­gia be amended so as to cre­ate the Ge­or­gia Out­door Stew­ard­ship Trust Fund to con­serve lands that pro­tect drink­ing water sources and the water qual­ity of rivers, lakes, and streams; to pro­tect and con­serve forests, fish, wildlife habi­tats, and state and lo­cal parks; and to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for our children and fam­i­lies to play and en­joy the out­doors, by ded­i­cat­ing, sub­ject to full pub­lic dis­clo­sure, up to 80 per­cent of the ex­ist­ing sales tax col­lected by sport­ing goods stores to such pur­poses with­out in­creas­ing the cur­rent state sales tax rate?”

Yes

No Cre­ates a state-wide busi­ness court to lower costs, en­hance ef­fi­ciency, and pro­mote pre­dictable ju­di­cial out­comes. House Res­o­lu­tion 993 Res­o­lu­tion Act No. 410

Ga. L. 2018, p. 1130

Shall the Con­sti­tu­tion o f Ge­or­gia be amended so as to cre­ate a state-wide busi­ness court, au­tho­rize su­pe­rior court busi­ness court di­vi­sions, and al­low for the ap­point­ment process for state-wide busi­ness court judges in or­der to lower costs, im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of all courts, and pro­mote pre­dictabil­ity of ju­di­cial out­comes in cer­tain com­plex busi­ness dis­putes for the ben­e­fit of all ci­ti­zens of this state?”

Yes

No En­cour­ages the con­ser­va­tion, sus­tain­abil­ity, and longevity of Ge­or­gia’s work­ing forests through tax sub­clas­si­fi­ca­tion and grants. House Res­o­lu­tion No. 51 Res­o­lu­tion Act No. 297

Ga. L. 2018, p. 1127

“Shall the Con­sti­tu­tion of Ge­or­gia be amended so as to re­vise pro­vi­sions re­lated to the sub­clas­si­fi­ca­tion for tax pur­poses of and the pre­scribed method­ol­ogy for es­tab­lish­ing the value of forest­land con­ser­va­tion use prop­erty and re­lated as­sis­tance grants, to pro­vide that as­sis­tance grants re­lated to forest land con­ser­va­tion use prop­erty may be in­creased by gen­eral law for a fiveyear pe­riod and that up to 5 per­cent of as­sis­tance grants may be de­ducted and re­tained by the state rev­enue com­mis­sioner to pro­vide for cer­tain state ad­min­is­tra­tive costs, and to pro­vide for the sub­clas­si­fi­ca­tion of qual­i­fied tim­ber­land prop­erty for ad val­orem tax­a­tion pur­poses?”

Yes

No Pro­vides and al­lows as­ser­tion of cer­tain rights for vic­tims of crime in the ju­di­cial process. Se­nate Res­o­lu­tion No. 146 Res­o­lu­tion Act No. 467

Ga. L. 2018, p. 1139

“Shall the Con­sti­tu­tion of Ge­or­gia be amended so as to pro­vide cer­tain rights to vic­tims against whom a crime has al­legedly been per­pe­trated and al­low vic­tims to as­sert such rights?” Yes

No Au­tho­rizes lo­cal ref­er­enda for ed­u­ca­tional sales taxes for cer­tain school sys­tems and dis­tri­bu­tion of pro­ceeds. Se­nate Res­o­lu­tion No. 95 Res­o­lu­tion Act No. 278

Ga. L. 2017, p. 857

“Shall the Con­sti­tu­tion o f Ge­or­gia be amended so as to au­tho­rize a ref­er­en­dum for a sales and use tax for ed­u­ca­tion by a county school dis­trict or an in­de­pen­dent school dis­trict or dis­tricts within the county hav­ing a ma­jor­ity of the stu­dents en­rolled within the county and to pro­vide that the pro­ceeds are dis­trib­uted on a per stu­dent ba­sis among all the school sys­tems un­less an agree­ment is reached among such school sys­tems for a dif­fer­ent dis­tri­bu­tion?”

Yes

No PRO­POSED STATEWIDE REF­ER­ENDA Pro­vides for a homestead ex­emp­tion for res­i­dents of cer­tain mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions. House Bill No. 820 Act No. 346

Ga. L. 2018, p. 235

“Do you ap­prove a new homestead ex­emp­tion in a mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion that is lo­cated in more than one county, that le­vies a sales tax for the pur­poses of a metropoli­tan area sys­tem of pub­lic trans­porta­tion, and that has within its bound­aries an in­de­pen­dent school sys­tem, from ad val­orem taxes for mu­nic­i­pal pur­poses in the amount of the dif­fer­ence be­tween the cur­rent year as­sessed value of a home and the ad­justed base year value, pro­vided that the low­est base year value will be ad­justed yearly by 2.6 per­cent?”

Yes

No Pro­vides a tax ex­emp­tion for cer­tain non­profit-owned homes for the men­tally dis­abled. House Bill No. 196

Act. No. 25

Ga. L. 2017, p. 55

“Shall the Act be ap­proved which pro­vides an ex­emp­tion from ad val­orem taxes on non­profit homes for the men­tally dis­abled if they in­clude busi­ness cor­po­ra­tions in the own­er­ship struc­ture for fi­nanc­ing pur­poses?”

Yes

No

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