By Curt Yeomans
The primary elections are just over a month away, but the timetable is shorter for anyone who has not yet registered to vote.
Monday is the voter-registration deadline for the July 20 primary election, according to state and local election officials.
This year, the primaries will decide who will be each party's nominees for several state-wide offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, and a U.S. Senate seat, as well as local elections for school board seats, county commission seats and state legislative posts.
But, to help make those decisions, a person has to be registered to vote by the deadline.
"If an individual is not registered, [they are] ineligible to vote," said Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration Director Annie Bright, in a prepared statement.
According to sample ballots from the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration web site (www.co.clayton.ga.us), there will be 27 contested races in the Democratic Party primary, and 15 contested races, and one party question, in the local, Republican Party primary.
The state-wide offices being contested include: a U.S. Senate seat, as well as the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state superintendent of schools, commissioner of insurance, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of labor, and public service commission, District 2.
The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration's web site lists all of the local State House of Representatives and State Senate seats as being up for grabs. Other local races include those for Clayton County Board of Commissioners districts 1 and 4, and Clayton County Board of Education districts 1, 4, 8, and 9.
The question of, "Do you support an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the earliest biological beginning, until natural death?" will also be on the local Republican Party Primary Ballot, according to a sample ballot for the election.
Bright said there are 146,578 registered voters in Clayton County, as of Thursday. She pointed out, being able to vote is important, since elections decide the local, state and federal leadership. "To be able to vote gives you a voice in your community," she said.
Bright said voter registration application forms may be obtained from the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration web site, the Secretary of State's web site, at local libraries and the city halls for each of Clayton County's six cities.
The local elections director also said that in order for a person to be eligible to vote, that person must be a United States citizen, who turns 18 years old on, or before, the day of the election, must not have been convicted of a felony involving "moral turpitude," and cannot have been judicially declared to be mentally incompetent.
The voter registration application form must be completed, and submitted, by "the close of business" on Monday, according to Bright.
Absentee and Early voting is currently underway for the election, and advance voting will be held the week before the election, according to the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration web site.
On the Internet:
Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration: http://www.co.clayton.ga.us/
Georgia Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.ga.us/