by Robin Kemp

It’s time to cast your vote in the Presidential preference primary, a slew of other primary races, and your local and county Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) projects.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. However, if you are in line at 7 p.m., the law requires the polling place to allow you to cast your ballot.

Be prepared for long lines and long wait times in some precincts due to COVID-19. Some polling places have been moved and fewer poll workers are staffing the tables.

If you’re still trying to find information about candidates, check out a new website called Branch (at http://branch.vote). All you have to do is enter your address and zip code, choose a political party, and you’ll get your choice of either a short or a long podcast specifically about each race in districts that cover your address.

For example. a U.S. Senate race with 7 candidates in 30297 offers either a 79-minute or a 15-minute non-partisan explainer that you can listen to while you drive or cook breakfast.

Clicking on the short podcast gives you the audio player candidate photos, bios, campaign website, positions on issues, top donors, and the option to view candidates side-by-side in checklist form. If you check your favorite candidate in each race, the site will generate a checklist of the people you want to vote for–and, if you link your e-mail address, you can send the list to yourself. (Some people might be reluctant to do that for privacy reasons.) You also can share the podcast.

You also can learn more about Branch from its founder, Georgia Tech alumnus Walter Ley, on WABE’s Closer Look with Rose Scott (plus hear about Fulton County election preps).

Other options for checking out who you might vote for include:

League of Women Voters Vote411 nonpartisan voting information: https://www.vote411.org/

Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page (to check your registration, polling place(s), sample ballots, and elected official districts): https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

Voter ID information from the Secretary of State’s office: https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/georgia_voter_identification_requirements2

Qualified candidate lookup from the Secretary of State’s office: https://elections.sos.ga.gov/GAElection/CandidateDetails

WABE’s Georgia Votes 2020 page: https://www.wabe.org/election2020/

AJC Election News: https://www.ajc.com/news/election/

AJC Election Results: https://www.ajc.com/news/election-results/

Politico Election Results: https://www.politico.com/2020-election/results/georgia/

Clayton County Election Results (unofficial): https://www.claytoncountyga.gov/government/elections-and-registration/elections-results

Fulton County Voting One-Stop Shop: https://www.fultoncountyga.gov/inside-fulton-county/fulton-county-departments/registration-and-elections/voting-one-stop-shop

Clayton County Early Voting Ballot Count: https://www.claytoncountyga.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=12508

Dekalb County Early Voting Turnout:
https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/users/user3587/6.2.2020%20Early%20Voting.pdf

Georgia Equality endorsements (via Georgia Voice): https://thegavoice.com/news/voting-local-in-the-2020-primaries/

Emergency Polling Place Changes for Fulton County (via Atlanta Daily World): https://bit.ly/2zE3zaE

Emergency Polling Place Changes for Dekalb County (via Dekalb County Voter Registration and Elections): https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/users/user3587/Polling%20Place%20Changes.pdf

SAMPLE BALLOTS

COUNTYDEM REPNO PARTYNO PARTY
Clayton County Sample BallotsDem RepNP
Dekalb County Sample BallotsDemRep/NP (voted March 24) Rep/NP (did not vote March 24)
Fulton County Sample BallotsDem (composite)Rep (composite)NP (composite)

Here’s what early voter turnout looked like in each county:

COUNTYTOTAL BALLOTS RECEIVED
Clayton18,626
Dekalb75,368
Fulton85,467
Total early ballots received as of June 8, 2020

If you experience or witness any “questionable election-related activity,” contact the Georgia Secretary of State online at https://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/EMailStopVoterFraud.asp or call the Voter Fraud Hotline at (877) 725-9797. An investigator may call you back to get more information.

A reminder: Just because a candidate or campaign worker gives you an absentee ballot application or ballot form–or gives you a ride to the polls–absolutely does not mean that you have to vote for that person.

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