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Advance voting starts on Monday, here’s what voters need to know
General primary

With advance voting kicking off in Forsyth County, local voters may not be aware of recent election changes in Forsyth County.

Advance voting for the May 24 general primary and non-partisan general election will begin on Monday, May 2, and continue for three weeks until Friday, May 20. Since the last countywide election, several changes have been made to the election process, including new district boundaries, new precincts and new voting locations.

More in-depth information on those changes, sample ballots and more can be found at the Forsyth County Department of Voter Registrations and Elections website at www.forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Voter-Registrations-Elections, and voters can find their districts, polling places and other voting information at https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/.

Voter’s casting ballots in person should bring a valid government ID, and locals wanting to vote by mail can print and complete an online application from the county’s website and can submit the applications by:

·  - Emailing a scanned copy of the signed application to Voter@forsythco.com;

·  - Emailing a picture of the signed application to Voter@forsythco.com;

·   - Faxing the signed application to (770) 886-2825;

Submitting the signed application by mail OR by personal delivery to: Forsyth County Voter; Registrations & Elections, 1201 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040.

 Here’s a look at what voters should know heading into the primary.

 

Who’s on the ballot?

The May ballot will include options for Republicans and Democrats to choose their candidates for November races and will have a chance to vote for non-partisan races for judicial seats, including the Forsyth County State Court Judge race between challengers James Dunn and Rupal Vaishnav.

In Forsyth, Republicans will have primary races at the federal, state and local levels and will have a total of 11 questions from the local and state Republican parties.

Georgia Republican Party questions

--The Biden administration has stopped building the border wall and illegal border crossings have dramatically increased. Should securing our border be a national priority?

--Education is the largest line item in the state budget. Should education dollars follow the student to the school that best fits their need, whether it is public, private, magnet, charter, virtual or homeschool?

--Florida has passed a law to stop social media platforms from influencing political campaigns by censoring candidates. Should Georgia pass such a law to protect free speech in political campaigns?

--Two of the three current federal work visa programs are lottery-based. Should federal work visas instead be issued on job skill?

--Biological males who identify as females have begun competing in female sports. Should schools in Georgia allow biological males to compete in female sports?

--To prevent ballot tampering, state law prohibits political operatives from handling absentee ballots once they have been marked by the voter. To protect the integrity of our elections, should the enforcement of laws against ballot tampering be a priority?

·-Absentee drop boxes are vulnerable to illegal ballot trafficking. Should absentee ballot drop boxes be eliminated?

·-Crime has dramatically increased throughout the country including in our capital city of Atlanta. Should the citizens of residential areas like the Buckhead community of Atlanta be allowed to vote to create their own city governments and police departments?

 

Forsyth County Republican Party Questions

·   The Forsyth County Board of Education had not chosen to exercise the option to do a 2021 Millage Rollback while at the same time renewing the ESPLOST, do you believe they are acting in a fiscally responsible matter?

·     Prior to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approving more High-Density Housing within the county, should they first ensure that the needed infrastructure exists (e.g., Roads, Sewer, etc.) to support the growth?

·     While the Forsyth County Board of Election is offering Sunday voting for this election known as the General Primary (May 2022), do you believe that Forsyth County should continue with at least one Sunday vote where possible every future election within the County?

 For local Democrats, the only non-statewide contested primary will be for for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district between Bob Christian and Wayne White, though the local and state parties will have several questions of their own.

Democratic Party of Georgia questions

--Should the United States remove obstacles to economic advancement by forgiving all student loan debt?

- -Should all Georgians have access to paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child?

-- Should every 3- and 4-year-old in Georgia be given the opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool free of charge?

--Should Georgia voters have the right to gather signed petitions to directly place questions on the ballot, whether to change the law or poll the public?

--Should families earning less than $150,000 per year receive an expanded tax credit to help cover the costs of raising children?

--Should the State of Georgia expand access to health care for over half a million Georgians by utilizing federal funds to expand Medicaid?

-- Should the State of Georgia expand voter access by increasing early voting opportunities, allow same-day voter registration, removing obstacles to voting by mail, and installing secure ballot drop boxes, accessible at all times, through Election Day?                                                                

-- Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older, with proceeds going towards education, infrastructure, and health care programs?

·- Should the State of Georgia incentivize the development of clean, renewable energy sources to support America’s energy independence?       

 

Forsyth County Democratic Party Questions

· -Do you support marijuana legalization for those 21 and older, with taxes from sales dedicated to supporting local infrastructure and local education?

 - Do you believe our public schools should support and include diversity, equity and inclusion programs for faculty and students?

--Do you believe that Forsyth County schools should take mandatory trips to historical sites that focus on Georgia's part in the Civil Rights movement?

· -Do you support comprehensive immigration reform to provide a fair path to citizenship for individuals that have long-established roots in the US?

·- Should the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners focus on the current lack of affordable housing in the area for the elderly, retail employees, service industry workers, custodial workers, law enforcement, fire department personnel and teachers?

-- Do you support requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including those made privately by anyone other than a federally licensed firearms dealer?

 Non-partisan ballots with only judicial races will also be available.

 



When is advance voting?

Early voting for the primary will be held weeks of May 2-6; Saturday, May 5; May 9-13; Saturday, May 14; and the week of May 16-20.

Advance voting will also be held on Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. after recent approval from the Forsyth County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

For each election, advance voting will be open for three weeks ahead of Election Day.

For the first week of early voting for each cycle, including Saturday, voters in the elections will only cast ballots at the election’s office.

Starting with the second week and continuing the following Saturday and the third week, early voting will be held at the election’s office, Hampton Park Library and the community centers at Midway and Sharon Springs parks.

During advance voting, voters can cast ballots at any of the locations, though voters on election day will have to go to their precinct’s polling place.

For all advance voting, polls are proposed to be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the first two weeks and during Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the final week. Election Day voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

What are the new district lines?

Following the 2020 census, federal, state and county boundaries have shifted in Forsyth, with those changes going into effect at the beginning of 2023.

The largest change will be at the U.S. House, where Forsyth County is currently represented by Democrat Carolyn in District 7, made up of southern Forsyth and a portion of Gwinnett counties, and Republican Andrew Clyde in District 9, containing north Forsyth and northeast Georgia.

Moving forward, all of Forsyth County, along with all of Dawson and portions of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties will be in District 6.

Forsyth’s state Senate map will also see changes, including a reconfiguration of state Senate District 27, which will represent the majority of Forsyth and no other counties, and the addition of state House District 48, representing a portion of south Forsyth and portions of Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

The state House map was also reconfigured, and while, Districts 24, 25 and 26 were reconfigured and still include Forsyth County, Districts 11, in northwest Forsyth, Pickens County and a portion of Hall County and 100, in southern Forsyth and portions of Gwinnett and Hall counties.

Adjustments have been made to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education maps, including the notable change that Districts 2, currently south Forsyth, and 5, currently southeast Forsyth and around Lake Lanier, will largely flip beginning in 2023.

Forsyth has also added new precincts, precinct boundaries and election day polling places.

A list of those changes can be found at the election department’s website and voters can find their information at the secretary of state’s site.

 

What comes after the primary?

For the majority of races, the primary will be the last time candidates are on the ballot ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 8 election.

For primary races with more than two candidates, if no candidate reaches the threshold of 50% of votes plus one vote, those races will head to a runoff on Tuesday, June 21.