Georgia voters head to polls for primary election on Tuesday

Voters in Georgia will head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the state's primary election. 

Early voting wrapped up on Friday, with more than 551,000 people submitting their ballots early, accounting for about 8% of eligible state voters. Rockdale County reported the highest turnout in metro Atlanta, according to state election data.


The primary election includes Democratic and Republican primaries, as well as nonpartisan positions. Because Georgia is an open primary state, voters can choose to pull any ballot they prefer.

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The election results will determine who will represent each party in the general election. The Democratic and Republican ballots feature several important partisan contests for positions such as U.S. Congress members, state legislators, county commissioners, sheriffs, and district attorneys. The winners of the party primaries will face each other in the general election on Nov. 5.

In counties that heavily favor one party, the primaries will essentially decide the winners of the general election. For example, in Fulton County, Sheriff Pat Labat, a Democrat, is facing three Democratic challengers but no Republicans. 

Voters leave the Park Tavern polling location after casting their ballots in the Georgia primary election on May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

In DeKalb County, no Republicans are running for the position of CEO and three Democratic county commissioners are competing for the soon-to-be vacant position.

Georgia Supreme Court

Another significant race on May 21 is for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court. Incumbent Andrew Pinson is being challenged by John Barrow. 

Barrow, a Democrat, has made a pledge to protect abortion rights. Pinson is a conservative who was appointed to the bench 2 years ago by Gov. Kemp. 

The candidate with the most votes will win.

Fulton County races

All eyes will also be on two very high-profile races in Fulton County.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is up for re-election. She is facing Christian Wise Smith, also a Democrat. Courtney Kramer is the only Republican on the ballot. 

RELATED: Fulton County braces for possible runoffs in key races

Another race of high interest is between Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee and Robert Patillo, both of whom are running in nonpartisan elections. Another candidate was disqualified. 

Willis and McAfee have both been in the national spotlight because of the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies and Willis' office is also prosecuting rapper Young Thug and his associates. 

Clayton County

In Clayton County, the sheriff's race will be closely watched. Incumbent Sheriff Levon Allen is running against Jeff Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners. His other challengers are Clarence Cox and Charlene Watson-Fraser.


Congressional races

Another race capturing national attention involves Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been the subject of numerous headlines over the last few weeks. No one is running against Greene in the Republican primary, but there are four candidates in the Democratic primary: Clarence Blalock, Shawn Harris, Deric Houston, and Joseph Leigh.

The state's 14 congressional districts have several high-profile races happening May 21. The only open seat is in the solidly Republican 3rd Congressional District, currently held by Drew Ferguson, who is retiring. Of the remaining 13 incumbents, 10 are running uncontested in their primaries.

In Georgia's 3rd Congressional District, five Republicans are running.

In the 6th Congressional District, Lucy McBath is looking to switch from the 7th District to the 6th District, and she has two primary challengers.

In the 13th Congressional District, Rep. David Scott has six primary challengers.

State Senate

In State Senate District 40, Sen. Sally Harrell is running for re-election and Sen. Colton Moore is running for re-election in Senate District 53.

Sen. Elena Parent is the incumbent in State Senate District 44, which is one of the newly-drawn districts that went from majority white to majority Black.

Primary voters will also elect winners for multiple nonpartisan races, such as judicial and school board positions. If any candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, they win outright. Any race that does not meet the 50% plus one vote threshold will go into a runoff.

Voting center hours

Voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and voters will need to go to their assigned precincts. You can find your voting location on the secretary of state's My Voter Page

Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon are also holding primary elections on May 21. The general election will take place on Nov. 5.