DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On election eve, the stakes in the 2018 midterm election could not be higher. That was reflected in the record-setting turnout during the three-week, in-person, advanced voting session that saw 2.1 million Georgians cast their votes.
Here in Dawson County, interest was through the roof. Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson reported last week that 7,036 residents voted early.
At the top of the ballot is the race for Governor where conservative Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp faces liberal Democrat former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.
The candidates could not be more different. Kemp opposes the expansion of Medicaid. Abrams supports expansion. Kemp wants to deport illegal immigrants and ban sanctuary cities. Abrams opposes clamping down on illegal immigration and wants to provide a pathway to citizenship. Kemp wants Georgia to have the toughest abortion restrictions in the U.S. Abrams opposes additional restrictions. Kemp wants to preserve the HOPE scholarship but opposes letting undocumented students access the scholarship. Abrams believes it should be available to all.
The third candidate in the race, Libertarian Ted Metz, could play the spoiler role. Pollsters say the race between Kemp and Abrams is razor thin and neither has crossed the 50 percent barrier that would prevent an unprecedented four-week runoff.
While the governor’s race has gained nationwide attention, there are other important races on the ballot.
Republican Geoff Duncan of Forsyth County and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico are running for lieutenant governor. The candidates for Secretary of State are Brad Raffensperger (R), John Barrow (R), and Smyth Duval (L).
The race for Attorney General is between Gary Black (R) and Fred Swann (D).
Incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Doug Collins faces a challenge from Democrat Josh McCall in the 9th District.
Also on the Dawson County ballot is the race between 7th District State Representative David Ralston (R) and Rick Day (D).
There are also five constitutional amendments for voters to decide and two statewide referenda.
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