Every voter experiences it: You go to polls ready to exercise that most precious right only to find you've never heard of half the offices on the ballot, much less the candidates.
Allow us to be of assistance. Here's our best take on the contests in DeKalb County. In the interest of time and space, we've included only contests where you actually have a choice; you're on your own when it comes to voting for (or not voting) for unopposed candidates.
Where we feel confident we've done enough research, we're offering up our suggestions. Where we don't know enough, we're not yet making a recommendation. But be sure to check back before you go to vote; we'll; update the Cheat Sheet right up until Nov. 4.
President/Vice President: Barrack Obama/Joe Biden
U.S. Senate: Jim Martin
U.S. House of Representatives (you'll vote in one of the following districts):
District 4 (central part of county): Hank Johnson
District 5 (sliver in eastern part of county): John Lewis
District 6 (northern part of county): Bill Jones
District 13 (southern part of county): David Scott
State Senate (you'll vote in one of the following districts):
District 40 (Dunwoody, Doraville, Chamblee): NO RECOMMENDATION AT THIS TIME
District 42 (Atlanta, Decatur): David Adelman
District 43 (Southeast DeKalb): NO RECOMMENDATION AT THIS TIME
Candidates for all other state Senate seats are unopposed.
State House (you'll vote in one of the following district):
Distict 79 (Dunwoody): Fran Millar
District 80 (Brookhaven): Michelle Conlon
District 81 (Chamblee, Doraville): Chris Huttman
District 85 (South Decatur, Lake Claire): Stephanie Stuckey Benfield
Candidates for all other state House seats are unopposed.
County Commissioner District 1: NO RECOMMENDATION AT THIS TIME
All other candidates for county office are unopposed.
Court of Appeals of Georgia (to succeed John H. Ruffin): Michael Meyer von Bremen
Candidates for all other Supreme Court and Court of Appeals seats are unopposed.
Superior Court of the Stone Mountain Circuit (all seats are countywide)
(to succeed Linda Warren Hunter): Tom Stubbs
(to succeed Anne Workman): NO RECOMMENDATION AT THIS TIME
Candidates for all other Superior Court, State Court and Probate Court judgeships are unopposed.
Board of Education: NO RECOMMENDATIONS (there are contests in four of five districts)
DeKalb Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: NO RECOMMENDATION
Proposed constitutional amendments (statewide)
1 (forest conservation tax breaks): Yes
2 (school tax funds for community redevelopment): Yes
3 ("infrastructure development districts," or private cities): No
DeKalb referendum to limit power of DeKalb CEO: Yes
Homestead exemptions: Yes to all of them
Doraville annexation: NO RECOMMENDATION.