Tomorrow is Primary Election Day in Georgia. There have been many days of advance voting, and those who needed to vote absentee have had their chance to do so. Citizens living outside of Georgia as part of their work or service in the military were given time to receive their ballots and have it returned in order for it to be counted once the poll votes are counted tomorrow night.
The airwaves, print media and online news sources have been filled with ads for candidates. There have been debates, forums, receptions, fundraisers, “meet and greet” times with the candidates. To say that this Primary Election Day has caught someone off guard would have to mean they live on another planet. For a person to say they are undecided at this late hour is also to know they have not been paying attention to what is going on around them in this state.
Along with the candidates, there are non-binding questions listed for each voter to express their opinions. There is the infamous vote to be taken on the TSPLOST, which is a vote to raise the taxes on the citizens by 1 percent with the funds being collected for 10 years as they are applied to transportation projects. With all listed above, I talked with someone last week who had no idea there was an upcoming election and had no concept of persons or issues being considered. I confess I find that to be bewildering.
I often hear from people by e-mail, and as I speak in various gatherings across the state, I hear many people who are frustrated and dissatisfied with what is going on in Washington and Atlanta. Also, there are times I hear from people who express frustration with local issues each city and county faces. In all of these expressions of frustration and the feeling that it is necessary to wipe the slate clean by kicking out all of those in office and putting in a new set of office holders, it is becoming more rare to find the person doing the griping who can name more than one or two people representing them locally, in the state or federal offices.
At lunch last week, a friend and I were talking about a race in another part of the state where my friend began to share the results from a recent poll about a candidate in a race where there are four other people running. As we concluded our conversation, we agreed the only poll that counts is the final tally of the votes cast on Election Day. Whatever it takes, if you were unable to vote in the days of advance voting, please do not let anything keep you from going to your voting place and cast your votes tomorrow.
From where I stand, this Primary Election should set all-new records for the numbers of voters taking advantage of the free and open elections we enjoy in our country.
Locate your polling location and more on the Georgia Secretary of State's website at http://www.sos.ga.gov/elections/.
What will keep you from voting in this Primary Election? Tell us in comments.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter — @RayNewmanSr.