"The idea is rather than having to type your name in and look you up -- it takes about 10 seconds -- we can scan your ID and it will find you almost immediately as long as your driver's license is in the system," Kirk said. "That won't work for everybody -- we'll also have to look up people manually. But I'm hoping in a large percentage of our voters, we can just scan that and it should speed up the entire process by about 10 seconds a person and when you take that cumulatively over the entire day, it should make a big difference."
Much of the usual check-in process will remain the same. Individuals casting ballots on election day will be required to complete a voter's certificate at the poll, where poll workers are directed by state law to check each voter's photo ID to ensure that it matches the voter. Poll workers will then scan voters' driver's license or state-issued ID and issue a voter access card for the voting machine.
"We'll be using driver's license numbers to check people in. It's not the only way we can do it, but one of the ways. It should speed up the process if everyone has their driver's license or state ID card out of their wallet when they come in," Kirk said, adding the process will likely be used in all state voting precincts in the November general election. "We're going to use it. I know some other counties are going to use it. I know some of the metro [Atlanta] counties are going to wait until November. ... Right now is sort of county-by-county decision.
"It's ease of use. I see no reason our poll workers, as competent as they are, can't use this with the little bit of training we give them."
Officials expect only a percentage of the county's 57,065 registered voters, 48,423 of which are considered active, to turn out and vote in the election that will determine the state and local candidates who will either progress to the general election in November or move one step closer to their desired seats.
"We're hoping for about a 20-percent turnout, which is about the same as in 2008. People are very interested in what's going on right now with their government and, frankly, seem pretty upset about some of the stuff going on so I'm expecting a good turnout," Kirk said. "[Twenty percent] is good for this kind of election. I always hate to say 20 percent is good but I always hope for a much higher turnout but I don't think we're going to see it this time."
As of Friday morning, 1,146 ballots had been cast in early and advanced voting in Bartow, while 266 absentee ballots had been mailed out. Voting officials had received 113 of those back and there were 153 outstanding as of Friday morning.
According to the Secretary of State website, candidates on Tuesday's ballot are:
Statewide offices to be filled in the November general election include U.S. Senator, the seat currently held by Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is running again. Voters Tuesday will choose one of two Democrats -- either Rakeim R.J. Hadley, 41, of Conyers, or Michael "Mike" Thurmond, 57, of Decatur and current state commissioner of labor -- to vie against Isakson and Libertarian candidate Chuck Donovan, 53, of Mableton, in the November election.
A number of candidates signed on in hopes of filling the post to be vacated by current Gov. Sonny Perdue. Republicans voters will choose a nominee from a field of seven, including Jeff Chapman, 50, of Brunswick; Nathan Deal, 67, of Gainesville; Karen Handel, 48, of Alpharetta and former secretary of state; Eric Johnson, 56, of Atlanta; Ray McBerry, 42, of McDonough; John W. Oxendine, 48, of Norcross and current state commissioner of insurance; and Otis Putnam, 35, of Brunswick.
Democrats running for governor are Thurbert Baker, 57, of Atlanta and current state attorney general; Roy E. Barnes, 62, of Marietta and former governor; Bill Bolton, 62, of Marietta; Carl Camon, 42, of Ray City; Randal Mangham, 55, of Decatur; DuBose Porter, 56, of Dublin; and David Poythress, 66, of Atlanta.
In the November general election, the Republican and Democratic nominees will vie against each other and Libertarian candidate John H. Monds, 45, of Cairo, for the post.
Current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican, is set to vie against one of two Democrats for lieutenant governor -- either Tricia Carpenter McCracken, 65, of Augusta, or Carol Porter, 51, of Atlanta and wife of Democratic gubernatorial candidate DuBose Porter's -- and Libertarian candidate Rhonda Martini, 52, of Duluth.
Secretary of State
Current Secretary of State Brian Kemp will compete for the Republic nomination in the primary election with Doug MacGinnitie, 43, of Sandy Springs, while five Democratic candidates are set to vie for their party's nomination.
Democrats include Gail Buckner, 59, of Jonesboro; Gary Horlacher, 53, of Peachtree City; Michael Mills, 36, of Atlanta; Angela "Miss Angela" Moore, 47, of Decatur; and Georganna Sinkfield, 67, of Atlanta.
The Republican and Democratic nominees will compete in November with Libertarian candidate David Chastain, 53, of Marietta, for the post.
Republicans Sam Olens, 53, of Marietta; Preston Smith, 37, of Rome and former District 52 state senator; and Max Wood, 50, of Macon, are set to compete for the GOP nomination, while Ken Hodges, 44, of Atlanta, and Rob Tellhet, 36, of Smyrna, are vying for the Democratic nomination. In November, one of each will be on the ballot with Don Smart, 58, of Savannah, the Libertarian candidate.
State School Superintendent
Two Republican, three Democrats and one Libertarian are running to fill the state school superintendent seat vacated by Kathy Cox, whose name is listed on the ballot although she dropped out of the race.
Republicans John D. Barge, 43, of Rome and current Bartow County Schools' director of Secondary Curriculum, and Richard Woods, 47, of Tifton, are GOP nomination hopefuls, while Beth Farokhi, 62, of Marietta; Joe Martin, 67, of Atlanta; and Brian Westlake, 40, of Decatur, will compete in the Democratic primary.
Kira Griffiths Willis, 41, of Roswell, is the Libertarian candidate who will be on the general election ballot in November.
Commissioner of Insurance
Republican voters are set to choose between a number of insurance commissioner hopefuls, including Dennis Cain, 56, of Hazlehurst; Rick Collum, 40, of Moultrie; Seth Harp, 67, of Midland; Ralph T. Hudgens, 67, of Hull; Tom Knox, 67, of Cumming; John Mamalakis, 62, of Savannah; Stephen Dale Northington, 40, of Acworth; Gerry Purcell, 48, of Alpharetta; and Maria Sheffield, 36, of Atlanta.
Democratic candidate Mary Squires, 52, of Atlanta, and Libertarian hopeful Shane Bruce, 53, also of Atlanta, will compete for the seat in the general election in November with one of the Republican candidates.
Commissioner of Agriculture
Voters are set to choose between Republicans -- Gary Black, 51, of Commerce, and Darwin Carter, 70, of Alma -- for the GOP nomination, the winner of which will face in November both Democrat J.B. Powell, 48, of Blythe, and Libertarian Kevin Cherry, 49, of Douglasville.
Commissioner of Labor
One of two Republican candidates -- either Mark Butler, 39, of Carrollton, or Melvin Everson, 52, of Snellville -- is set to vie in the general election in November with one of two Democratic candidates -- either Terry Coleman, 66, of Eastman, or Darryl Hicks, 46, of Fayetteville -- and Libertarian candidate Will Costa, 41, of Kennesaw.
Public Service Commissioner
Democrat Keith Moffett, 38, of Macon, and Libertarian James "Jim" Sendelbach, 70, of Conyers, are set in the November general election to compete with one of four Republican candidates to succeed Robert B. Baker Jr. as public service commissioner. Voters will choose in Tuesday's primary from Republicans B. Joseph "Joey" Brush, 54, of Grovetown; John Douglas, 56, of Social Circle; Tim Echols, 49, of Athens; and Jeff May, 41, of Monroe.
State Representative and State Senator
In local races, Republican voters Tuesday will choose between three candidates for the District 14 state representative seat -- either Greg Bowen, 52, of Adairsville; Christian Coomer, 35, of Cartersville; or Shep Helton, 39, of Cartersville. Democrats will choose from two candidates -- Dan Ledford, 47, of Euharlee, or Jessica Weaver-Stoll, 33, of Rome.
Incumbent Paul R. Battles, 62, of Cartersville, a Republican, is set to face in the primary Republican Hayden Collins, 45, of Cartersville, for the District 15 state representative seat. The candidate voters choose Tuesday will run unopposed in the November general election.
Voters Tuesday will choose one of two Republicans -- either Pete Bridges, 68, of Tallapoosa, or incumbent Bill Heath, 50, of Bremen -- to compete with Democrat Tracy Gene Bennett, 47, of Cartersville, for the District 31 state senator seat in the November general election.
Also Tuesday, voters will pick from two Republicans -- either Jeff Knight, 37, of Calhoun, or Barry Loudermilk, 46, of Cassville and a current state representative -- to vie in the November general election with Democrat Mike Burton, 66, of Cave Spring, for the District 52 state senator seat.
Tuesday voters will not cast ballots to fill the District 12 state representative seat, as only one Republican and one Democrat are on the ballot. In the November general election, voters will choose between Republican Rick Jasperse, 53, of Jasper, and Democrat Jerry Nally, 63 of Pine Log.
Bartow County School Board
Three Bartow County School Board seats also are up for election and are set to be chosen Tuesday, as all the candidates are Republican. In Post 1, incumbent Lamar Grizzle will face John Howard, while Post 2 board member Roger Maier will compete with Davis Nelson. Angie Cornett and David Palmer are seeking the Post 3 seat to be vacated by Matt Shultz.
Continuation of SPLOST for local school systems
Bartow County voters also will choose whether to support the extension of a 1-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for schools. If approved, the new SPLOST would begin in July 2012 and last for five years; the current SPLOST, also five years long, took effect in July 2007.
The SPLOST would help Bartow County Schools plan and build four schools to replace aging facilities, acquire land for future schools, purchase instructional and administrative technology improvements, refurbish existing school facilities, pay off bond debt and more. Cartersville City Schools will use its SPLOST funds to pay off bond debt on Cartersville High and make significant improvements to its school sites. Technology and furniture replacement and refurbishment also is on the city district's agenda, as is construction of a fine arts facility at Cartersville Middle.
See Tuesday's edition of The Daily Tribune News for further coverage of the SPLOST vote.
A number of questions also will appear on Republican ballot. They are:
* Are you in favor of eliminating the current federal tax code and the IRS, which administrates it, and replacing it with a retail sales tax?
* Are you in favor of eliminating the current Georgia tax code and replacing it with a retail sales tax?
* Do you support an amendment to the state constitution allowing the citizens of Georgia to opt out of a federal health care system?
* Should the United States secure its border and enforce its current immigration laws?
* 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 their earliest biological beginning until natural death?
* Should the United States of America lift restrictions on energy production to lessen dependency on foreign energy resources?
Those wishing to view a customized sample ballot should enter their name and birthday on the Secretary of State's website on the My Voter Page at http://www.sos.georgia.gov/MVP/Login.aspx.