DeKalb County Voter Guide: June 9, 2020

You may be slightly confused about the constant-evolving nature of Georgia’s June 9th election. Don’t worry––we have you covered! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to protect your right to vote: the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW (we assume you already understand the importance of WHY).

Still have questions? Give Matthew a call at 678-631-8820.

WHEN

Mark your calendar! The first thing you need to know are your deadlines. Below are the key dates for Georgia’s June 9th election.

  • Monday, May 11, 2020––Voter registration deadline
  • Monday, May 18, 2020––Early in-person voting begins
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020––Election Day

Check your voter registration: https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov


HOW & WHERE

Because of COVID-19, you have even more ways to cast your ballot than normal. Although all Georgians are strongly urged to vote by absentee ballot either via mail or drop-box (keep reading), you can decide which manner of voting is right for you.

If you do decide to vote in-person either early or on Election Day, please heed CDC guidance by wearing a cloth face mask, observing 6-feet social distancing while around others, and using hand sanitizer before and after touching common surfaces.

You have three ways to vote:

(1) Absentee/Paper Ballot

Voting by absentee/paper ballot is a 3-step process. First, you have to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you. In April, all 6.9 million “active” Georgia voters were mailed an absentee ballot application by the Secretary of State. If you have completed this application and returned it to the DeKalb County Election Board, you will be mailed an absentee ballot. If not, you can request an absentee ballot here.

Once you receive your absentee ballot, you’ll need to mark your selections and secure the ballot in the envelope/mailing sleeve provided with the ballot. Keep reading for information about each candidate and referendum item on your ballot.

Finally, you’ll need to return your ballot to the DeKalb Board of Elections Office no later than Election Day. You can do this two different ways.

  • Via Mail: Place your ballot in the mail, ensuring that you’ve attached sufficient postage and allowed enough time for your ballot to reach the Board of Elections no later than Election Day (allow at least 3-4 days to be safe).
  • Via Drop box: In response to COVID-19, the State Elections Board recently approved a new rule to allow voters to physically return their ballots to the County Board of Elections by placing it in a drop box so as to avoid person-to-person contact (and without having to pay for postage to return it via mail). You must return your ballot no later than Election Day for it to be counted.
    • DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections office has two secure drop boxes for submitting completed Absentee Ballots located at 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032. One box is located near the entrance of the Voter Registration and Elections’ office while the other box is located near the main entrance of the building near the DeKalb County Tag office. Both are monitored by video cameras for security, are securely fastened, and are built with an opening slot that prevents ballot tampering, damage, or removal.

(2) In-person Early Voting (starting May 18, 2020)

Starting Monday, May 18th, you may cast your vote in-person at any of the early voting polling sites available throughout DeKalb County.

The full list of polling sites and times is available here.

(3) Election-Day Voting (June 9, 2020)

On Election Day (Tuesday, June 9th), polls will be open from 7a–7p. Unlike for early voting, on Election Day, you may only cast your ballot at your specific polling location.

Find your polling location here.


WHO & WHAT

As you make your plan to vote in the June 9th election, you need to keep this in mind: it’s actually two elections wrapped into one. If you’ll remember, right as COVID-19 caused Georgia to shut down, we were in the middle of early voting for the March 24th Presidential Preference Primary (which also included local races and ballot measures). Now, we have combined that election with the primary election that was originally scheduled for May 19th. Depending on whether you were able to vote in the March 24th election before it was suspended, your June 9th ballot may actually be two ballots in one.

The races I’ve listed below cover multiple districts within House District 80. Some races may not appear on your ballot, based on where you live. Download your personalized sample ballot here.

>If you have already voted in the March 24th election:

…you will only receive the ballot for the general election primary (originally scheduled for May 19th). Below are the races that you will see on your ballot, along with helpful resources to help you make your picks. I have only listed races below that are CONTESTED. To see a full list of all races on your ballot, visit the Secretary of State’s website using the link above.

[CONTESTED] PARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • U.S. Senate (seat held by David Perdue)
    • FORUM: Watch a recent forum with the Democratic candidates hosted by DeKalb County Democrats here.
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Democratic candidates here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • David A. Perdue (Incumbent) – website
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
  • Public Service Commissioner (to succeed Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr.)
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Democratic candidates here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr. (Incumbent) – website
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
  • U.S. Representative, District 5
  • U.S. Representative, District 6
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Republican candidates here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Lucy McBath (Incumbent) – website
  • Sheriff of DeKalb County (for the full four-year term beginning January 1, 2021)
    • Q&A: You can read responses by the candidates to recent questions from the DeKalb Champion newspaper here.
    • Q&A: Additionally, the Georgia NAACP and Informed Georgians for Justice have posted answers by the candidates to their survey on criminal justice issues here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • FORUM: Also, you can read coverage of a recent candidate forum here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Harold Dennis – website
        • Mr. Dennis is a former DeKalb lieutenant who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Geraldine Champion
        • Ms. Champion is a retired Atlanta police homicide detective who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Adam Gardner – website
        • Mr. Gardner is a homicide investigator for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
      • Ted Golden – website
        • Mr. Golden is a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Antonio “Block” Johnson – website
        • Mr. Johnson is a military veteran and former jailer and marshal in Fulton County.
      • Kyle Keith Jones – website
        • Mr. Jones is a retired law enforcement officer and businessman who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Melody M. Maddox (Incumbent) – website
        • Sheriff Maddox is the current DeKalb County Sheriff; the first woman to serve in that position. She became sheriff in December 2019 upon the retirement of then-Sheriff Jeffrey Mann. She previously served as Chief of Police for Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
      • Carl Mobley – website
        • Mr. Mobley is a retired DeKalb County police officer.
      • Ruth “The Truth” Stringer – website
  • Tax Commissioner of DeKalb County
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • None
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Irvin J. Johnson (Incumbent) – website
      • Roslyn Allison McCaskill – website
  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 1
    • Q&A: You can read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the DeKalb Champion Newspaper here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Nancy Jester (Incumbent) – website
  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 6
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • None
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Maryam Ahmad – website
        • Q&A: You can read Ms. Ahmad’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
      • Emily Halevy – website
        • Q&A: You can read Ms. Halevy’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
      • Edward “Ted” Terry – website
        • Mr. Terry is the former Mayor of Clarkston, who was briefly in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
        • Q&A: You can read Mr. Terry’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
  • Political Party Questions
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      1. Should Georgia lawmakers expand educational options by allowing a student’s state education dollars to follow to the school that best fits their needs, whether that is public, private, magnet, charter, virtual, or homeschool?
      2. Should voting in the Republican primary be limited to voters who have registered as Republicans?
      3. Should candidates for Board of Education be required to declare their political party?
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      1. Should Georgians work to stop climate change and listen to the scientific community, which recommends immediate action to combat this serious threat to our planet?
      2. Should Georgia enact basic standards to protect our environment from wasteful plastic items that pollute our state?
      3. Should every eligible Georgian be allowed to register to vote on Election Day to make sure everyone can exercise their right to vote?
      4. Should Georgia take partisanship out of the redistricting process and have an independent commission draw district lines instead of politicians?
      5. Should our criminal justice system end the discriminatory cash bail system that allows the wealthy to buy their way out of jail while disadvantaging lower-income Georgians?
      6. Should every Georgian that has served their sentence for a crime they committed be allowed to have their voting rights restored?

[CONTESTED] NON-PARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • Supreme Court of Georgia, Justice (seat held by Charlie Bethel)
    • Elizabeth “Beth” Beskin – website
      • Ms. Beskin is the former State Representative for District 54.
    • Charlie Bethel (Incumbent)website
      • I have endorsed Justice Bethel for re-election.
  • Supreme Court of Georgia, Justice (seat held by Sarah Warren)
    • Hal Moroz – website
    • Sarah Hawkins Warren (Incumbent)website
      • I have endorsed Justice Warren for re-election.
  • Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court, Judge (to succeed Judge Clarence “Chuck” Seeliger)
    • Roderick Bridges – website
    • Aaron Chausmer – website
      • Mr. Chausmer is a Dunwoody lawyer in private practice with over 22 years of experience.
    • Vincent C. Crawford – website
      • Judge Crawford serves as the Chief Judge for the DeKalb County Juvenile Court, where he has served since 2006. Juvenile court judges in DeKalb County are appointed by the judges on the Superior Court.
      • You can read responses from Judge Crawford in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Yolanda C. Parker-Smith – website
      • Ms. Parker-Smith is an Atlanta public defender with 16 years of legal experience.
      • You can read responses from Ms. Parker-Smith in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Melinda “Mindy” Pillow – website
      • Ms. Pillow is in private practice in Decatur with 14 years of legal experience.
  • DeKalb County Board of Education, District 1 (to succeed Stan Jester)
    • Anna Hill – website
      • You can read responses from Ms. Hill in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Andrew Zifferwebsite
      • I have endorsed Mr. Ziffer.
      • You can read responses from Mr. Ziffer in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
  • DeKalb County Board of Education, District 3
    • Kevin Alexander
    • David Manuel – website
    • Willie R. Mosley, Jr.
    • Deirdre Pierce

>If you have NOT already voted in the March 24th election:

…you will receive two ballots in one (March 24th Presidential Preference Primary + May 19th general election primary). Below are the races from both prior ballots that you will see on your June 9th ballot, along with resources to help you make your picks. I have only listed races below that are CONTESTED. To see a full list of all races on your ballot, visit the Secretary of State’s website using the link above.

  • U.S. Presidential Preference Primary
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Donald J. Trump (Incumbent) – website
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Joseph R. Bidenwebsite
        • I have endorsed former Vice President Biden.
      • The following, who will all appear on your June 9th ballot, have each suspended their campaigns and endorsed former Vice President Biden:
        • Michael Bennet
        • Michael R. Bloomberg
        • Pete Buttigieg
        • John K. Delaney
        • Tulsi Gabbard
        • Amy Klobuchar
        • Deval Patrick
        • Bernie Sanders
        • Tom Steyer
        • Elizabeth Warren
        • Andrew Yang
  • SPECIAL ELECTION: Sheriff, DeKalb County (to fill the unexpired term of Jeffrey Mann, Resigned)
    • BACKGROUND:
      • The winner of what would have been the March 24 special election will fill the unexpired term of former Sheriff Jeffrey Mann, who retired in November amid a battle over his law enforcement certification. If no candidate gets 50% of the vote, a runoff election between the top two vote-getters will take place on August 11. The winner of that election will then take over as sheriff until the end of 2020, when Mann’s unexpired term ends.
      • While this is going on, the election for the next full term of DeKalb Sheriff is also taking place. This process would have begun in May when partisan primaries were scheduled to be held. Now, it will appear on the same ballot June 9, with a run-off (if necessary) on August 11, and the general election in November.
    • Q&A: You can read responses by the candidates to recent questions from the DeKalb Champion newspaper here.
    • Q&A: Additionally, the Georgia NAACP and Informed Georgians for Justice have posted answers by the candidates to their survey on criminal justice issues here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • FORUM: Also, you can read coverage of a recent candidate forum here.
    • CANDIDATES:
      • Geraldine Champion
        • Ms. Champion is a retired Atlanta police homicide detective who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Harold Dennis – website
        • Mr. Dennis is a former DeKalb lieutenant who also ran for sheriff in 2016
      • Adam Gardner (Democrat) – website
        • Mr. Gardner is a homicide investigator for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
      • Ted Golden (Democrat) – website
        • Mr. Golden is a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Antonio “Block” Johnson (Democrat) – website
        • Mr. Johnson is a military veteran and former jailer and marshal in Fulton County.
      • Kyle Keith Jones (Democrat) – website
        • Mr. Jones is a retired law enforcement officer and businessman who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Melody M. Maddox (Incumbent) – website
        • Sheriff Maddox is the current DeKalb County Sheriff; the first woman to serve in that position. She became sheriff in December 2019 upon the retirement of then-Sheriff Jeffrey Mann. She previously served as Chief of Police for Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
      • Carl Mobley (Democrat) – website
        • Mr. Mobley is a retired DeKalb County police officer.
      • Ruth “The Truth” Stringer (Democrat) – website
  • CITY OF ATLANTA REFERENDUM: Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST)
    • This will only appear on your ballot if you live in the City of Atlanta.
    • BALLOT QUESTION:
      • Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be reimposed in the City of Atlanta for a period of time not to exceed 16 calendar quarters and for the raising of not more than Seven Hundred Fifty Million Dollars and Zero Cents ($750,000,000.00) for the purpose of funding water and sewer projects and costs?
    • BACKGROUND:
      • This referendum is to decide whether to reauthorize the 1-cent tax that applies to most goods purchased in the City of Atlanta. These funds allow visitors and business people who use the City’s water and sewer infrastructure but do not pay City water/sewer bills to help pay for upgrading and maintenance of the infrastructure. This is NOT a new tax; it is the reauthorization of an existing tax.
      • A 1% City of Atlanta Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST) is imposed inside the City of Atlanta limits. MOST generally applies to all retail sales of tangible personal property delivered to customers within the city limits of Atlanta and retail sales of taxable services performed within the city limits of Atlanta. MOST does not apply to motor vehicles, even if a motor vehicle is otherwise subject to sales tax.
      • The MOST was initially approved on July 20, 2004, and reauthorized by voters in 2008 by a 3-1 margin. From 2004 through 2010, it provided more than $700 million to help ensure Atlantans a future of clean, safe drinking water and environmentally sound wastewater treatment.
      • You can read more about the history of Atlanta’s MOST and how the revenues have been used here.

[CONTESTED] PARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • U.S. Senate (seat held by David Perdue)
    • FORUM: Watch a recent forum with the Democratic candidates hosted by DeKalb County Democrats here.
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Democratic candidates here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • David A. Perdue (Incumbent) – website
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
  • Public Service Commissioner (to succeed Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr.)
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Democratic candidates here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr. (Incumbent) – website
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
  • U.S. Representative, District 5
  • U.S. Representative, District 6
    • DEBATE: Watch the recent Atlanta Press Club debate between the Republican candidates here.
  • Sheriff of DeKalb County (for the full four-year term beginning January 1, 2021)
    • Q&A: You can read responses by the candidates to recent questions from the DeKalb Champion newspaper here.
    • Q&A: Additionally, the Georgia NAACP and Informed Georgians for Justice have posted answers by the candidates to their survey on criminal justice issues here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • FORUM: Also, you can read coverage of a recent candidate forum here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Harold Dennis – website
        • Mr. Dennis is a former DeKalb lieutenant who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Geraldine Champion
        • Ms. Champion is a retired Atlanta police homicide detective who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Adam Gardner – website
        • Mr. Gardner is a homicide investigator for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
      • Ted Golden – website
        • Mr. Golden is a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Antonio “Block” Johnson – website
        • Mr. Johnson is a military veteran and former jailer and marshal in Fulton County.
      • Kyle Keith Jones – website
        • Mr. Jones is a retired law enforcement officer and businessman who also ran for sheriff in 2016.
      • Melody M. Maddox (Incumbent) – website
        • Sheriff Maddox is the current DeKalb County Sheriff; the first woman to serve in that position. She became sheriff in December 2019 upon the retirement of then-Sheriff Jeffrey Mann. She previously served as Chief of Police for Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
      • Carl Mobley – website
        • Mr. Mobley is a retired DeKalb County police officer.
      • Ruth “The Truth” Stringer – website
  • Tax Commissioner of DeKalb County
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • None
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Irvin J. Johnson (Incumbent) – website
      • Roslyn Allison McCaskill – website
  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 1
    • Q&A: You can read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the DeKalb Champion Newspaper here.
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • Nancy Jester (Incumbent) – website
  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 6
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      • None
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Maryam Ahmad – website
        • Q&A: You can read Ms. Ahmad’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
      • Emily Halevy – website
        • Q&A: You can read Ms. Halevy’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
      • Edward “Ted” Terry – website
        • Mr. Terry is the former Mayor of Clarkston, who was briefly in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
        • Q&A: You can read Mr. Terry’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
  • Political Party Questions
    • REPUBLICAN BALLOT:
      1. Should Georgia lawmakers expand educational options by allowing a student’s state education dollars to follow to the school that best fits their needs, whether that is public, private, magnet, charter, virtual, or homeschool?
      2. Should voting in the Republican primary be limited to voters who have registered as Republicans?
      3. Should candidates for Board of Education be required to declare their political party?
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      1. Should Georgians work to stop climate change and listen to the scientific community, which recommends immediate action to combat this serious threat to our planet?
      2. Should Georgia enact basic standards to protect our environment from wasteful plastic items that pollute our state?
      3. Should every eligible Georgian be allowed to register to vote on Election Day to make sure everyone can exercise their right to vote?
      4. Should Georgia take partisanship out of the redistricting process and have an independent commission draw district lines instead of politicians?
      5. Should our criminal justice system end the discriminatory cash bail system that allows the wealthy to buy their way out of jail while disadvantaging lower-income Georgians?
      6. Should every Georgian that has served their sentence for a crime they committed be allowed to have their voting rights restored?

[CONTESTED] NON-PARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • Supreme Court of Georgia, Justice (seat held by Charlie Bethel)
    • Elizabeth “Beth” Beskin – website
      • Ms. Beskin is the former State Representative for District 54.
    • Charlie Bethel (Incumbent)website
      • I have endorsed Justice Bethel for re-election.
  • Supreme Court of Georgia, Justice (seat held by Sarah Warren)
    • Hal Moroz – website
    • Sarah Hawkins Warren (Incumbent)website
      • I have endorsed Justice Warren for re-election.
  • Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court, Judge (to succeed Judge Clarence “Chuck” Seeliger)
    • Roderick Bridges – website
    • Aaron Chausmer – website
      • Mr. Chausmer is a Dunwoody lawyer in private practice with over 22 years of experience.
    • Vincent C. Crawford – website
      • Judge Crawford serves as the Chief Judge for the DeKalb County Juvenile Court, where he has served since 2006. Juvenile court judges in DeKalb County are appointed by the judges on the Superior Court.
      • You can read responses from Judge Crawford in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Yolanda C. Parker-Smith – website
      • Ms. Parker-Smith is an Atlanta public defender with 16 years of legal experience.
      • You can read responses from Ms. Parker-Smith in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Melinda “Mindy” Pillow – website
      • Ms. Pillow is in private practice in Decatur with 14 years of legal experience.
  • DeKalb County Board of Education, District 1 (to succeed Stan Jester)
    • Anna Hill – website
      • You can read responses from Ms. Hill in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Andrew Zifferwebsite
      • I have endorsed Mr. Ziffer.
      • You can read responses from Mr. Ziffer in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
  • DeKalb County Board of Education, District 3
    • Kevin Alexander
    • David Manuel – website
    • Willie R. Mosley, Jr.
    • Deirdre Pierce