Georgia voters head to the polls Tuesday

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Polls for Georgia's primary elections and other races closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday - check election results here!

Officials in Catoosa County say voter turnout this election cycle was higher than last.

Primary elections and other races will be decided Tuesday in Georgia.

NewsChannel 9 is tracking 50 separate local races. That includes contested primary races, county ballot questions and nonpartisan judicial races.

All these contested races are trying to reach 50 percent plus 1. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two candidates will face each other in a runoff July 24.

The runoff winners will advance to the general election November 6th.

Catoosa and Dade Counties both have SPLOST question on the ballot. SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield Counties also have a number of Republican ballot questions.

Open statewide seats, House challenges down Georgia ballot

Georgia voters have plenty of election contests to settle after casting their Republican and Democratic primary ballots for governor.

Both parties have competitive races Tuesday for lieutenant governor and secretary of state. Both of those offices are being vacated by GOP incumbents running for governor. The state insurance commissioner's seat is also open because the incumbent, Republican Ralph Hudgens, decided not to run again.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods is battling for re-election against fellow Republican John Barge, who held the office before stepping aside four years ago to run unsuccessfully for governor.

Five Georgia congressmen also face primary opposition from within their own parties.

Several crowded races could require runoffs July 24 if no candidate finishes with more than 50 percent of the vote.

Democrats turn out in force in Georgia early voting

Georgia's Democratic voters have turned out in force in early voting.

The initial tally could encourage Democrats hoping for a "blue wave" of wins in the state, the crown jewel of which would be the Georgia governor's mansion.

Republican ballots made up approximately 61 percent of early and absentee primary votes in 2014 and 2016, according to data from Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office. Democratic ballots made up just 37 percent those years.

This year the Republican share of early and absentee primary ballots has shrunk to just 53 percent, while Democrats' share has climbed to 46 percent.

Voters will get their final chance to cast a ballot in Tuesday's primaries.

Georgia's primaries are open, meaning any voter can choose either a Democratic or Republican primary ballot.

Black women look to flex power in Georgia governor's race

Georgia's upcoming primary election presents black women voters with a rare opportunity: To give a Democrat who looks like them a chance at occupying the governor's mansion in a Republican-controlled state.

A win Tuesday for either Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans both lawyers and former state lawmakers means Georgia could elect its first woman governor later this year.

However, if Abrams wins the primary and the general election, America would get its first black woman governor. With black women comprising Georgia's third largest voting bloc, many black women voters are relishing the thought of making history happen twice over.

With 2018 shaping up to be the biggest boon for women in American politics since a wave of female candidates were elected to Congress in 1992, the rising influence of black women at the polls is hard to ignore.

Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you full election results Tuesday night. Once the polls close at 7 p.m., you can check results here.

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