Georgia Primary: What Voters Need To Know For Tuesday's Election

Jim Massara

GEORGIA — Georgia's Tuesday primary election will be like none before it. Postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic and scheduled while protest marches roil the nation, the election has already drawn more than 1 million early voters. About 80 percent of those votes were absentee ballots, according to The Athens Banner-Herald — and who's running for president isn't even in question.

With Donald Trump and Joe Biden all but guaranteed their party’s nominations in the upcoming presidential election, the most competitive races are those for the U.S. Senate and House.

"I don't want to make any predictions," Ryan Anderson of GeorgiaVotes.com said to the Associated Press. "But we definitely will be watching to see how all of this will translate."

Here are the matchups:

U.S. Senate

Seven Democratic challengers are competing to run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue in Tuesday’s Georgia primary, but only three are expected to have a strong showing. Jon Ossoff, who narrowly lost his 2017 bid to become representative for Georgia’s 6th District, is backed by civil rights icon John Lewis, and most expect him to get the most votes — but not necessarily a majority.

If Ossoff does face a runoff, it probably will be against Teresa Tomlinson, former mayor of Columbus, who is backed by another civil-rights icon, Andrew Young. Also in the mix is Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost in the 2018 general election for lieutenant governor.

Republican incumbent Perdue, first elected in 2014, is running unchallenged for the GOP nomination.

Georgia’s other Senate seat won’t be in play until November, but the advertising blitz for it is already in progress. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, is challenging Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Gov. Brian Kemp defied Trump when he appointed Loeffler to replace Johnny Isakson, who retired in 2019 for health reasons.

U.S. House

Collins’ pursuit of a Senate seat left his 9th District seat open — and attracted nine Republicans to replace him. Two of them, Paul Broun Jr. and Andrew Clyde, are running on aggressive pro-gun platforms. Whoever wins the Republican nomination is likely to win the general election.

The 14th District in northwest Georgia is seeing a similar glut of candidates, thanks to the retirement of incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Graves. Only one Democrat is seeking the nomination, but nine Republicans are pursuing it — and the district almost always goes to the GOP candidate. One Republican, Marjorie Greene, even moved to the district just to compete.

In other Atlanta-area races:

  • Two Democrats are challenging incumbent Rep. Hank Johnson for the 4th District nomination. Johnson has held his seat since 2007 in District 4, which is largely in DeKalb County.
  • In Georgia’s 5th District, which encompasses most of Atlanta, Barrington Martin II is challenging longtime incumbent John Lewis for the Democratic nomination.
  • Former Secretary of State and 6th District representative Karen Handel will fight four other Republicans for the opportunity to run against incumbent Democrat Lucy McBath, who took the seat away from her in 2018. McBath is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The 6th District includes Georgia's northern suburbs, including much of north Fulton County.
  • Six Democrats and seven Republicans are vying for the 7th District Congressional seat, vacated by Republican Rob Woodall. Among the Democrats, Carolyn Bordeaux has been endorsed by John Lewis and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The best-known candidate on the Republican side is Renee Unterman, a former mayor of Loganville who represents District 45 in the Georgia State Senate. The 7th District covers parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.
  • In the 13th District, three Democrats are challenging incumbent David Scott for the party's nomination to serve the area west of Atlanta. Scott has held the position since 2003.

How To Vote

Those voting in person Tuesday must show valid photo ID. That could be a Georgia driver’s license — even if expired — or any of several other types of valid government identification. You can find a list of acceptable ID here.

To cast a ballot, you also must be registered to vote. May 11 was the deadline to register. To check to see if you’re registered, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

In addition, you must vote at your own polling place. The Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page can show you where.

All polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This article originally appeared on the Across Georgia Patch