The masses didn’t flock to the polls to vote early in Middle Georgia, but given that Houston is the only midstate county with local races on the ballot, election officials say they’re not surprised.
On Friday, the last day for early voting, polls in Houston County closed with a total of 2,800 early voters. Registration and election assistant Beverly Nables said turnout wasn’t that bad considering the only local races were two contested school board seats. She said she doesn’t know what kind of crowd to expect Tuesday.
Hoke Morrow and Sheila Ashley are vying for the Post 6 school board seat. A special election for Post 7, between Tannya Duncan and Brian Upshaw, will determine who will fill the unexpired term of Dave McMahan, who resigned in February.
The rest of Middle Georgia has fewer decisions to make.
Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue are dueling for the open U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. The winner will face off with Democrat Michelle Nunn in November. Republican candidates for state school superintendent are Michael Buck and Richard Woods, and the Democratic candidates are Alisha Morgan and Valarie Wilson.
In Bibb County where there are only state races on the runoff ballots, 1,560 people voted early. Jeanetta Watson, the elections supervisor, called that number a light turnout.
“You still have that group of voters that are die-hard on getting out to the polls, so we hope for a heavier turnout at the polls,” Watson said. “But we just don’t know.”
Twiggs County reported 94 early voters, but officials are expecting a better turnout Tuesday. Crawford County reported 150 voters.
Elections supervisor Michelle Riley reported a total of 372 early voters in Peach County.
“We figured with no more on the ballot than what we had and no local races, it would be a lower turnout,” Riley said. “I would assume Tuesday is probably going to be a slow day, too.”
Jones County reported 399 early voters, and Monroe County reported 430, which was more than officials expected.
In this race, voters who chose a specific party for the election in May are only permitted to vote in races of that same party. Registered voters who did not vote in the May primary are eligible to choose which party’s ballot they will use to cast their votes.
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382