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Voters decide local, state nominees in Forsyth
WEB counting group

For a full list of Tuesday's General Primary election results, click here.

FORSYTH COUNTY – It appears Forsyth County residents have the answers to all but one of the primary elections for local and state officials that took place Tuesday.

Though the results remain unofficial until the Board of Elections meets Friday, every incumbent except the sheriff race walked away from the night with another term on the horizon, and one commission race that featured three newcomers will take the top two vote-getters to a runoff in July.

“We had 20,831 people vote, which was 18.54 percent. That’s without the provisional ballots or if we have any [overseas] ballots,” said Barbara Luth, supervisor of elections and voter registration. “It’s a little lower than some primaries, but I think it’s pretty good.”

Forsyth has more than 132,000 registered voters in a total population of more than 204,000.

Advanced voting brought in 8,505 ballots. By Monday, 467 of the 732 absentee ballots mailed out since early April had been returned.

Luth said the provisional and overseas ballots will be in before the election is certified on Friday afternoon.

Republican voters chose nominees in 11 contested races, while Democratic voters saw one contested race.

The remaining races – 12 Republican, four Democrat and all six non-partisan – were uncontested in this primary.

Five seats will be decided in November’s general election, as candidates from both parties are running – Republican Incumbent Johnny Isakson and Democrat Jim Barksdale won their primaries Tuesday for the U.S. Senate seat; U.S. Rep. for Congressional District 7 will feature Republican Incumbent Rob Woodall and Democrat Rashid Malik; the state Senate seat for District 27 will pit Republican Incumbent Michael Williams against Democrat Daniel Blackman; the state Rep. post for District 22 will have Republican Incumbent Wes Cantrell vying against Democrat Oscar “Aschar” Hajloo; and Republican Incumbent Nancy Roche won Tuesday’s primary to face Democrat Anita Holcomb Tucker for the County Board of Education District 5 post.

Both parties also voiced their opinions on a number of state and local questions.

Main discussion points in the Republican Party recently have focused on whether commissioners and Board of Education members should be voted by constituents in their district or county-wide.

A total of 41.97 percent, or 7,956 people, said they thought every resident should be able to vote for every commissioner, while 58.03 percent, or 11,001 voters, thought it should remain district-wide.

Opinions were more split when it came to the Board of Education, with 49.97 percent, or 9,395 people, voting for district-only voting and 50.03 percent, or 9,405 people, favoring county-wide.

Republicans also voted in favor, 74.40 percent, of allowing parents to allocate their tax dollars to their choice of public, private, virtual or home schools, depending on where they wish to send their child.

They also favored, 59.98 percent, changing the makeup of the county commission to have four commissioners elected by their respective district and a fifth commissioner elected county-wide to serve as a chairman.

Democrats strongly favored investing in healthcare for low-income citizens and military veterans, paid family leave for pregnancy, serious illness, adopted children and other situations, protecting rivers and streams, automatically registering all legal and permanent residents to vote, raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid.

They opposed Opportunity School Districts, a state sales tax to replace income tax and eliminating the homestead exemption tax for seniors.

Though these ballot questions are not binding, they do give lawmakers a sense of how their constituents feel on the topics so they can then develop appropriate legislation.

“They just wanted a straw poll of what the voters thought about the issues,” Luth said.

One surprise during polling came when a transformer exploded and caught fire outside of the Sawnee Mountain Park precinct just after 8:30 a.m.

A car reportedly struck the transformer, knocking it off its pad, according to Blake House, vice president of member services for Sawnee EMC.

Poll workers said the building shook and that it sounded like thunder.

However, the power never went out and polling was not interrupted.

Staff writer Kelly Whitmire contributed to this report.