published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Georgia voters go to polls today

GOING TO VOTE?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Many of the heated North Georgia races for sheriff, district attorney, clerk of court and state Legislature could be decided today in the primary on the predominantly GOP ballot.

The Catoosa County sheriff's race, the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit district attorney race, and Whitfield and Catoosa County Clerk of Court races are a few of the contests with multiple candidates, all running on a Republican ticket.

Other heated races include Whitfield Magistrate Judge Kay Cope's seat, where three candidates are looking to beat the incumbent. And in Walker County, Dr. Paul Shaw is challenging longtime incumbent Bebe Heiskell for the sole commissioner spot.

Across party lines, voters will decide whether to support a 1 percent sales tax increase called the transportation special purpose local option sales tax, or TSPLOST, that would usher in billions of dollars for transportation projects.

Before voters press "yes" or "no," the preamble on the TSPLOST referendum asks if they want to provide for projects to create jobs and improve roads and safety with citizen oversight, which critics say is a misleading question.

Statewide, voters also will be asked four straw poll questions on the Democratic ballot and five questions on the Republican ballot. Those range from capping lobbyists' gifts to lawmakers to the creation of charter schools and amending the state Constitution to redefine the right to life.

In Dade County, voters will be asked whether the county should funnel a portion of its property taxes to fund the public library.

Whitfield County voters will be asked whether to usher in another 1 percent sales tax increase for the county school district to pay off its loans on capital projects. A portion of the sales tax would go to Dalton City Schools to renovate, repair and improve school buildings, along with other projects.

Georgia voters must bring a valid photo ID or other forms of proper identification to their designated precinct.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at jlukachick@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659.

about Joy Lukachick...

Joy Lukachick is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

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