ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Ed Chen and Greg Miller team up on the pages of the Los Angeles Times to write up President Bush and his Administration's distancing from Sunday show comments made by acting CIA Director McLaughlin with regard to Iran's possible 9/11 involvement and the potential for a new spy czar. LINK

Today's Primaries: Georgia: Polls open at 7:00 am ET and close at 7:00 pm ET.

North Carolina: Polls open 6:30 am ET and close at 7:30 am ET.

Today, Republicans and Democrats in Georgia will winnow the field in the contest to succeed retiring Senator Zell Miller, whose iconoclasm landed him a prime speaking slot at the Republican convention.

Conservative activists tend to back one of two candidates: Herman Cain, the chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who is also a former Federal Reserve bank president; and Rep. Mac Collins.

Most other Republicans support Rep. Johnny Isakson, who is considered by conservatives to be a moderate but who considers himself a conservative.

Candidates must win more than 50 percent of the vote to advance; if they don't, there's an Aug. 10 run-off. Isakson leads in pre-election polls and will almost certainly survive to a run-off if he fails to obtain a majority today.

Democrats are fielding Rep. Denise Majette, who upset Rep. Cynthia McKinney in 2002; and wealthy entrepreneur and tech consultant Cliff Oxford. There are six other candidates running, too.

Republicans are favored to pick up the seat regardless of who they choose, but Democrats hope that a well-funded, popular challenger can make it competitive.

Four congressional seats — including Majette's — are also in play tomorrow. McKinney has re-run for her old seat

In North Carolina, former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot looks well positioned to finish first in the six-way Republican gubernatorial primary in North Carolina, but it could be tight and there is a catch. In the latest poll by the Raleigh News & Observer , Vinroot had about 35 percent, while former state Senator Patrick Ballantine and former state party Chairman Bill Cobey were running neck-and-neck behind him at about 24 percent each.

Under North Carolina election laws, any candidate who wins 40 percent (plus 1) of the vote is automatically the nominee. But if no candidate reaches that threshold, then the second-place finisher has the right to request a second primary between the top two candidates — i.e., a runoff. If (when!) there is a second primary, it would be on Aug. 17. Got all that?

Georgia voters and election officials anticipate e-day confusion after district lines have been redrawn. Eight Democrats and three Republicans seek their party's nomination to replace Senator Zell Miller. LINK

Bookish Shaila Dewan of the New York Times profiles former Senator Zell Miller and the GOP's "tightening grip" on the state of Georgia. LINK

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) and others attempt a comeback as Georgians and North Carolinians head to the polls. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting: The Chicago Tribune's Dahleen Glanton does a good job of explaining Florida's voting problems — particularly the system to restore civil rights to felons who have completed their sentences, the complicated system for granting clemency, and the touchy history surrounding the disenfranchisement of voters in the state. LINK

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