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Election Day: From US Senate to special city of Statesboro question

Election Day

Polls are open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, including at all normal voting precincts in Bulloch County. To find your polling place, visit

City of Statesboro residents may have to go to a different location to vote in the city's special election concerning the Redevelopment Powers Law.

Early voting totals in Bulloch County: 3,929 ballots cast in person, 479 ballots mailed in, 182 mailed ballots outstanding (14 percent turnout so far)

Early voting totals in Georgia: 846,118 ballots cast in person, 93,018 ballots mailed in, 32,223 mailed ballots outstanding (nearly 20 percent turnout so far)

For up-to-date results as they become available Tuesday night, visit or the Statesboro Herald's Facebook page.


The only truly local election Tuesday gets its own ballot.

Statesboro residents will be able to vote in the special city election regarding the Redevelopment Powers Law, which is targeted at encouraging development in the blighted portions of South Main Street and other areas.

The Redevelopment Powers Law enables local governments, with a one-time voter approval, to designate blighted or underdeveloped areas as tax allocation districts. This neither creates a tax nor increases rates, but any growth in property tax revenue from new buildings and rising real estate values in a TAD must be spent on improvements benefitting the district. The law also empowers local governments to issue bonds for redevelopment projects to be repaid with the growth revenues.

Some Statesboro city residents will have to vote in two different places because the city vote is separate from the other general-election issues. Residents who live in City Council Districts 1 and 2 will vote at the William James Educational Complex, 150 Williams Road. Residents in Council Districts 3, 4 and 5 will vote at Pittman Park United Methodist Church, 1102 Fair Road.

Statewide, here are key races to watch Tuesday:


After months of high-stakes campaigning and a seemingly endless barrage of negative TV ads, voters will finally choose whether Republican David Perdue or Democrat Michelle Nunn — or neither, see below — goes to Washington as Georgia's next senator.

Likewise, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal hopes voters give him a second term after a bruising race with Democrat Jason Carter, whose key supporters included his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter.

Spoiler alert: Libertarian candidates are on the ballot in both the Senate and gubernatorial races. If they can grab enough votes to keep the leader in either race from cracking 50 percent, get ready to vote again in a runoff election.


U.S. Rep. John Barrow, an Augusta Democrat, says he's the most bipartisan member of Congress. His Republican opponent, Rick Allen, says Barrow's really just two-faced.Their contest in eastern Georgia's 12th Congressional District — which includes Bulloch, Candler, Evans, Jenkins and Screven counties — will determine whether Barrow gets a sixth term. The seat was drawn to favor Republicans, and Barrow has doubled down on the formula that enabled him to beat grim odds two years ago by winning over conservative and independent voters. He's openly criticized fellow Democrats and President Barack Obama on the campaign trail and in TV ads while playing up his endorsements by groups that typically favor Republicans, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association.

Allen, an Augusta construction company owner, has invested more than $1 million of his own money to challenge Barrow, including an unsuccessful Republican primary bid in 2012. Allen got to share a stage last week with Mitt Romney, who carried Barrow's district by 55 percent in the last presidential election.

Romney's endorsement certainly can't hurt. Election results from 2012 suggest thousands of Romney voters crossed party lines to re-elect Barrow.


U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey are leaving Washington after losing the Republican nomination for Georgia's open Senate seat. Now voters must elect new congressmen to take their place.

Don't expect much drama. All three seats heavily favor Republican candidates, and Democrats didn't even bother to make a play for one of them.

— In southeast Georgia's 1st District, Republican state Sen. Buddy Carter of Pooler faces Democrat Brian Reese, a UPS supervisor from Savannah. Kingston held the seat for 22 years.

— In eastern Georgia's 10th District that was vacated by Broun, Republican Jody Hice, a Baptist minister from Monroe, faces Democrat Ken Dious, an Athens attorney.

— Republican Barry Loudermilk, a former state lawmaker from Cassville, gets a free pass to replace Gingrey in Washington in metro Atlanta's 11th District. No Democrat ran for the seat.

Georgia's remaining 10 congressional incumbents are also on the ballot Tuesday. Six are unopposed. The others represent districts considered safe for each incumbent's party.


An open seat for state school superintendent has given Georgia Democrats a shot at winning back a statewide office the party hasn't controlled in 20 years.

Democrat Valarie Wilson, former school board chairwoman for Decatur city schools, faces Republican Richard Woods of Tifton, a former social studies teacher and Irwin County school administrator. Georgia's current state schools chief, Republican John Barge, passed on seeking re-election to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the May GOP primary. Barge lost.

Wilson not only raised more than three times as much money as Woods, but she also picked up a late endorsement across party lines from Barge.

Republicans have held the state school superintendent's office since Linda Schrenko was elected to the job in 1994, when Democrats still dominated state government.


Win or lose, a group of Democratic candidates are making history in 2014.

There are a record five black women running for statewide office in Georgia. Only one of them, school superintendent contender Valarie Wilson, is running for an open seat.

The others are opposing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. Each incumbent, except for Butler, raised $1 million or more to defend his seat.

Hudgens' opponent is Elizabeth "Liz" Johnson of Bulloch County, who has about 40 years of experience in the insurance industry. She also once represented Georgia on the Democratic National Committee and has run unsuccessfully for several local offices — Bulloch County Board of Commissioners in 2004, probate judge in 2008, District 157 state representative in 2010 and clerk of court in 2012.


Should Georgia freeze its top income tax rate at 6 percent? Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to do that.

State lawmakers earlier this year approved the proposed amendment, which would prohibit the Legislature from raising Georgia's top marginal income tax rate above its current level. The income tax cap will become part of the Georgia Constitution if more than 50 percent of voters approve it.

Voters will find two other taxing issues on the ballot. One seeks approval to raise fines for reckless driving to help fund treatment for people with brain and spinal injuries. The other would allow Georgia's public universities to extend their exemption from property taxes to private companies hired to operate college dorms.


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