New computerized voting machines will be making their debut during this election and voting officials are hoping that the transition between paper ballots and virtual ballots will run smoothly.
Voting can be done in a methodical, step-by-step system.
Step one is referred to as “signing in.” At the polls voters will go through the same sign-in procedures as in previous elections. However, instead of receiving a paper ballot, voters will be given a voter access card.
Step two is conducted once the voter has obtained the access card and approaches the voting machine. Voters should insert the voter access card into slot located on the right side of the screen. Place the card face up with the arrow pointing towards the slot. Push the card into the slot until it clicks.
Step three involves the reading of voting instructions. The first screen voters will see is labeled “Instructions to Voters.” Read these carefully, and then touch the start button to begin voting.
tep four involves actually making candidate selections. Voters can make their selections by touching the box next to candidates or questions. To change an already marked choice, touch the box a second time, and then make a new selection.
Press next to advance through the ballot, press previous to go back.
At the end of the ballot voters will see the “Summary Page.” To view the entire page touch the up or down symbols on the right side of the screen. Offices that have not been voted for will be displayed in red. To make a change, touch the specific box of touch review ballot to move back through the previous screens.
Step six is the final step in casting a ballot. When a voter has no further changes to make, they will need to touch the “Cast Ballot” box on the screen. This completes the voting process. Once the “Cast Ballot” box is pressed, voters can no longer make changes to your ballot.
After casting the ballot, the machine will automatically eject the card. Cards should be returned to a poll official.
For the general election, local voters will be asked to determine the outcome of 14 state races, three local contested races and vote “yes” or “no” to six amendments and five proposed statewide referenda.
Locally, Democrat Mark Anthony L. Sullins will face off with Republican Angela Strickland in the race for the District 2 seat on the County Commission. Democrat Sandra Galloway, Polk Commission District 1, and Democrat H. Don Williams, Polk Commission District 3, will run unopposed in the General Election. Two Polk County School Board members will face write-in candidate opposition in this election. In the race for the District 2 seat, incumbent Democrat Regina Roberts will be challenged by Karen Forrister. In the race for the District 7 seat, candidate Brad Kimbro will take on incumbent Democrat Tommy Sanders.
Another contest of local interest is the face-off between incumbent Nathan Dean, Democrat, and James Garner, Republican, for the 31st District State Senate office and the race between incumbent Bill Cummings, Democrat, and Republican Matt Shultz for the 19th District State Representative seat.
Republican Phil Gingrey will challenge Democrat Roger Kahn for the 11th Congressional United States Representative, another heated local race that will be decided Tuesday.
A small portion of southern Polk County will be asked to choose either incumbent Tom Murphy, Democrat, or Republican Bill Heath for the office of State Representative for the 18th District.
In other State races:
In the Governor’s race, incumbent Roy E. Barnes is challenged by Republican Sonny Perdue and Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes; in the Lieutenant Governor’s race, incumbent Mark Taylor is up against Republican Steve Stancil and Libertarian Herbert F. Galloway, III; in the United States Senate race, incumbent Max Cleland will face Republican Saxby Chambliss and Claude “Sandy” Thomas, Libertarian; for the office of State Secretary, Republican Charlie Bailey and Libertarian Mike Pitts will challenge incumbent Cathy Cox.
In the race for Attorney General incumbent Thurbert Baker will face Shannon Goessling, Republican; for Commissioner of Agriculture, incumbent Tommy Irvin is challenged by Deanna Strickland, Republican and Doug Morton, Libertarian; for Commissioner of Insurance, John W. Oxendine, incumbent, is challenged by Lois Cohen, Democrat and Helmut Forren, Libertarian; in the race for State School Superintendent, Kathy Cox, Republican faces Democrat Barbara Christmas and Libertarian Lynn Krogseng.
For the Commissioner of Labor office seat incumbent Michael Thurmond will be challenged by Richard McGee, Republican and William Costa, Libertarian; in the Public Service Commissioner race incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr. faces Republican Angela Elizabeth Speir and Libertarian James W. “Jimmy” Harris.