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Polls open across Effingham Tuesday until 7 p.m.

POSTED: July 30, 2012 7:41 p.m.

Polls in the partisan primaries will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, and there are new voting places for many precincts.


Early voting concluded July 27, and 1,199 Effingham residents voted early.


Countywide contested races include coroner, tax commissioner and the Republican primary for at-large county commission chairman.


David Exley, the incumbent coroner, is being challenged by Christopher Frost in the Republican primary. There is no Democrat seeking the office, so the winner of today’s primary will win the position.


Incumbent tax commissioner Linda McDaniel faces challenger John Kieffer in the Republican primary. With no Democratic opponent, the winner of the primary will win the election.


Charlie Kea and Wendall Kessler are vying for the Republican nomination for at-large chairman, with the winner facing Democrat Franklin Goldwire in the November general election.


County voters also will choose between incumbent Richard Mallard and challenger Martha Hall in the district attorney Republican primary. The district attorney serves the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, which covers Effingham, Bulloch, Jenkins and Screven counties.


There are two Republican primaries for county commission seats. In District 1, Republicans Forrest Floyd and Solomon Smith are running for the right to go up against Democrat incumbent Bob Brantley in November. In District 4, incumbent Reggie Loper is being challenged by Steve Collins and Jamey Stancell in the Republican primary.


Effingham voters also will have a hand in choosing the next state House of Representatives District 161 member. Ann Purcell is retiring, and Bill Hitchens and Kristopher Moutray, two Effingham residents, are running to replace her. The district also includes portions of west Chatham County, and Hitchens and Moutray are running in the Republican primary.


There also are challengers for U.S. House of Representatives seats on the ballots. In District 12, which includes the northern two-thirds of the county, Republicans Rick Allen, Lee Anderson, Wright McLeod and Maria Sheffield are running to see who will oppose Democrat incumbent John Barrow in November. In District 1, the southern one-third of the county, Lesli Messinger and Nathan Russo are vying for the Democratic nod to take on Republican incumbent Jack Kingston.


As part of the primaries, voters also will weigh in on several ballot proposals. In the Republican primary, voters will answer if: the state should have casino gambling, with funds going toward education; a $100 cap should be placed on gifts from lobbyists to state legislators; active duty military personnel under the age of 21 should be allowed to obtain a Georgia weapons license; voters in primaries should be required to register by their party affiliation at least 30 days prior to the primary; and if the state Constitution should be amended to protect the right to life from an individual’s earliest biological beginning.


Questions on the Democratic ballot include: should the state override local school boards’ decisions when it comes to creating charter schools; should lobbyists be prohibited from unlimited gifts to state legislators; should the state adopt an income tax credit for home energy costs; and should the state reduce the sales taxes on “Made in Georgia” products.


Voters also will decide if they want to enact an additional 1 percent sales tax, with the proceeds being directed to transportation projects across a 10-county region.


The T-SPLOST, if passed, will be instituted on a region-by-region basis. If the measure passes in a region, it goes into effect, regardless of how individual counties voted.

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