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Bulloch officials expect 35 percent turnout for today's primary
Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday
071508 VOTING web
In this Herald file photo, Statesboro and Bulloch County residents vote at the William James Educational Complex during primary elections in February. Polls will be open for Tuesday’s Primary Election from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

            With interest in the U.S. Senate and District 12 Congressional races peaked, Bulloch County citizens return to the polls today to participate in the general primary election.

            The primary is an unusual one for Bulloch County as few state officials and no county officials are facing challengers – from either party. Nearly all of the contested races are at the federal level, with five Democratic candidates competing to face Senator Saxby Chambliss in November, as well as three Republicans and two Democrats vying for the chance to secure their party’s spot in the U.S. House District 12 race.

            Dale Cardwell, Vernon Jones, Rand Knight, Jim Martin and Statesboro native Josh Lanier are trying to become the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Lanier said that since poll results are changing daily, no one really knows how the race is shaping up.

            In the House race, two-term Congressman John Barrow faces a challenge from State Senator Regina Thomas (D-Savannah) for the Democratic slot. On the Republican side, Ben Crystal, Ray McKinney (Savannah) and John Stone – all first-time candidates – are looking to represent their party in the fall.

            In both races, if one candidate does not reach the 50 percent plateau, the top two-vote getters will face a run-off election on August 5.

            Last week, a small percentage of Bulloch voters participated in early voting.  According to Bulloch Deputy Registrar Shontay Jones, 277 people early voted at the courthouse.

            During the 2004 election when almost every county position was contested, more than 38 percent of registered voters, or 9,117 out of 23,536, voted. Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee DeLoach doesn’t anticipate quite that much of a turnout this time.

            “Well, it’s hard to call with so many uncontested races,” said DeLoach. “I think turnout might go as high as 35 percent (of registered voters).”

            In order to determine what precinct to vote in, voters should check their voter registration card and then match their precinct number with the accompanying list to determine their actual voting location. Should a voter not have their card, they can call the voter registrar’s office to determine their district.

            All county precincts will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Those interested in voting will have to choose either the Republican or Democratic primary – an elector cannot participate in both. Also, in order to vote, acceptable photo identification is required. A Georgia driver’s license or identification card, a valid U.S. passport or military I.D. or any state or federal government I.D. are all suitable forms of identification.

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