The most prominent race on the ballot is for President of the United States, pitting incumbent Republican George W. Bush against Democratic challenger John F. Kerry. Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian candidate for president.
Two of the local races are for Polk County Commission seats in Districts 2 and 3. In District 2, incumbent Democrat Ray Barber is being challenged by Republican Jason Robinson. In District 3, incumbent Republican David Jarvis is being challenged by Democrat Harold McDurmon.
The race for Chief Magistrate Court Judge is also a local race with incumbent Democrat Jean Crane being challenged by Republican Mike York.
In a race that includes all of Polk County and a small portion of Floyd County is for District 16 of the Georgia House of Representatives. In that race, incumbent Democrat Bill Cummings is being challenged by Republican Jonathan Ingram.
Polk County voters will also help decide the Georgia Senate Race for District 31 between Republican Bill Heath and Democrat Lester Tate. That race includes all of Polk and Haralson counties, and portions of Bartow and Paulding counties.
Local voters will also help decide the race for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 11th Congressional District between incumbent Republican Phil Gingery and Democratic challenger Rick Crawford.
Polk and all other counties in Georgia will decide on the open U.S. Senate Seat with Republican Johnny Isakson, Democrat Denise Majette and Libertarian Allen Buckley.
In the race for Public Service Commission, incumbent Republican Bobby Baker is being challenged by Democrat Mac Barber and Libertarian Jalynn Hudnall.
In the nonpartisan race for Georgia Court of Appeals Judge, Debra Bernes, Howard Mead and Mike Sheffield are all seeking the seat on the court.
There are two Constitutional Amendments on the ballot to be decided.
The first is to define marriage as the union of a man and woman, and the second is to provide for the Supreme Court jurisdiction to answer questions of law from federal courts. Voters are being asked to vote yes or no on both of these amendments.
Registered voters may cast ballots in advance of the election from Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 29 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the elections and voter registration office at 144 West Avenue in the Polk County Administrative Building.
The week before the election is the only time advance voting will be allowed.
Absentee ballots may be cast at the above location now through Monday, November 1. Anyone with additional questions may call 770-749-2103.
A “Meet the Candidates Forum” will allow Polk residents to go to the poles this year armed with the knowledge of what their local candidates stand for.
The forum, sponsored by the Polk County Farm Bureau, is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Nathan Dean Center in Rockmart.
Local candidates participating in this event include District II County Commission hopefuls Ray Barber, Democratic incumbent, and Republican Jason Robinson; District III County Commission contenders David Jarvis, Republican incumbent, and Democrat Harold McDurmon and the District 16 State Representative candidates Bill Cummings, Democratic incumbent, and Republican Jonathan Ingram.
The Nathan Dean Community Center is located at 604 Goodyear St. in Rockmart.