Primary election day arrives in midstate

Tuesday is the election day that most yard signs have been heralding.

Voters across the state will go to the polls between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to vote on a first-ever regional transportation sales tax, contested state races and important local elections.

In Bibb County, heavy interest in a Macon-Bibb County consolidation referendum helped push 7,691 people into voting early. If a majority of Macon voters and a majority of voters across all of Bibb County approve, the governments of Macon, Bibb County and Payne City will be dissolved and replaced with a mayor and a nine-member board of commissioners.

Bibb County Elections Supervisor Elaine Carr predicts turnout in the county will ultimately reach 35 percent to 40 percent.

“To me, it’s always important to vote. We want everyone to come out and make their choice,” Carr said. “It affects their lives.”

Voters everywhere in Georgia will consider a transportation special purpose local option sales tax, or T-SPLOST. In Middle Georgia, the 1-percent tax would run for 10 years and would put $562 million into a slate of projects and $187 million into locally controlled roadwork. A majority of voters from 11 counties will determine whether the tax goes into effect in Middle Georgia.

Another referendum in Houston County could bring Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink and by the package.

Elsewhere, voters will consider important legislative races that includes David Lucas again fighting Miriam Paris for the state Senate District 26 seat; Democratic incumbent state Rep. Nikki Randall battling with former Macon City Councilman Gerald Harvey; and a Republican tussle between state Sen. Cecil Staton and Dr. Spencer Price.

Ballots also have contested races for sheriff in Bibb and Twiggs counties; county commission races in Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Laurens, Peach, Pulaski and Twiggs counties; and school board races in Houston, Jones, Laurens, Peach and Twiggs counties.

Voters should bring an appropriate photo identification. For most people, that will be a valid or expired Georgia driver’s license. Other valid state or federal government-issued photo identification including passports or military ID are accepted.

To locate your voting precinct and see sample ballots, visit www.sos.georgia.gov/MVP online.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.