ATLANTA -- The state's voters are being urged to choose their ballots carefully in Tuesday's primary elections to avoid confusion and miss out on voting in the right races.

Unlike many states, voters in Georgia do not register as members of a particular party and may select either a Democratic or Republican ballot in each primary.

But some voters in past elections -- particularly those who recently moved to the state -- have mistakenly asked for nonpartisan ballots because they consider themselves politically independent.

The result? A short slate of judge's races and maybe a local contest or two instead of the contests for U.S. Senate, Congress and other heated races that inspire most voters to head to the polls in the first place.

Kara Sinkule, a spokeswoman for Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, said poll workers are instructed to help answer voter questions, but not to second-guess their ballot choices.

"If someone asks for a nonpartisan ballot, I think they'll be given that without being asked, 'Are you sure?' " Sinkule said.

The Secretary of State's office has made some changes since the presidential preference primaries in March to make accurate voting easier.

During that election -- which included a vote on the state flag -- some voters said they got the wrong ballot because both the Democratic and flag vote ballots were white.

On Tuesday, Democratic, Republican and nonpartisan forms will be three different colors to help prevent poll worker mistakes, Sinkule said.

People who vote in Tuesday's primary may only vote in the same party's runoff election in August. Anyone who does not vote Tuesday may still vote in either runoff.

New Georgia voters who registered by mail must provide a photo ID before getting a ballot. Previously registered voters who forget their IDs may cast a provisional ballot, which would be counted after their registration is confirmed.

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