By Joel Hall
Today, Clayton residents will vote in the 2008 Democratic and Republican primaries at 58 precinct locations around the county.
The primaries will serve as a vetting process for the many candidates competing for positions on the Board of Commissioners, the Board of Education, public safety offices, such as Sheriff and District Attorney, and the Georgia General Assembly.
Registered voters in Clayton must vote at their specific polling locations between the hours of 7 a.m,. and 7 p.m.,
Annie Bright, director of the Clayton County Board of Elections, said on Monday that a total of 7,044 people had participated in advance voting, which ended last Friday. She hoped for a good election-day turnout.
"Hopefully, they will come out and vote, because this is an important election," said Bright. She said advance voting was slightly higher in the February 2008 presidential preference primary, in which 8,668 votes were recorded before election day.
Allison Ruotolo, a county elections and registration official, said many people have called the elections and registration office asking for information about the general election, and that "some people aren't even aware" of Tuesday's primaries.
"I think more attention should be paid to this election," said Ruotolo. "Your local government, it's so close to home. It's just as important as your federal government.
The following poll locations will be open on Tuesday:
· Ellenwood (one location) -- East Clayton Elementary;
· Forest Park (six locations) -- Forest Park Middle School Cafeteria, Huie Elementary, Fountain Elementary, Babb Middle School, Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, Haynie Elementary;
· Jonesboro (18 locations) -- Pointe South Middle School Gym, Callaway Elementary, Lee Street Elementary, Kilpatrick elementary, First Presbyterian Church, M.D. Roberts Middle School, Mt. Zion High School, Mt. Zion Elementary, Clayton County Senior Citizens Center, St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Arnold Elementary, Clayton County Fire Station Headquarters, Brown Elementary, Suder Elementary, Lee Headquarters Library, Kendrick Middle School, Pointe South Elementary, Jackson Elementary;
· Lake City (one location) -- National Archives Southeast Region;
·Lovejoy (five locations) -- Mundy's Mill Middle School, Lovejoy Senior High School, Lovejoy Middle School, Kemp Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary;
· Morrow (nine locations) -- Anderson Elementary, Morrow City Hall, Morrow Middle School, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Adamson Middle School, The Rock Baptist Church, McGarrah Elementary, Roberta Smith Elementary, Clayton County Performing Arts Center;
· North Clayton (four locations) -- North Clayton Middle School, North Clayton Senior High School Gym, West Clayton Elementary, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church;
· Panhandle (two locations) -- River's Edge Elementary, New Hope Methodist Church;
· Riverdale (12 locations) -- Oliver Elementary, Lake Ridge Elementary, Church Street Elementary, Riverdale Elementary School Library, Riverdale Middle School, Tara Elementary, Flint River Center, Riverdale Christian Church Gym, Riverdale High School, Riverdale United Methodist Church, Fountain of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, New Macedonia Baptist Church.
People who don't know their polling location can find out by going to www.co.clayton.ga.us, and clicking on the "poll locator," or by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State web site at www.sos.state.ga.us.
You may also call the Clayton Board of Elections and Registration office at (770) 477-4520, or (770) 477-4527.
To see the results in person, people may visit the Election Center (formerly the Clayton County Emergency Management Center) at 7946 N. McDonough Street, Jonesboro.