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Early voting picking up for June 16 special election in Cumming
City council, state House seats at stake
voting

CUMMING — After a sluggish start, early voting for two local contests in the June 16 special election has picked up some steam.

This week will be the last chance for voters to cast their ballots ahead of time for Cumming City Council Post 1 and/or the District 24 seat in the state House of Representatives.

Since May 27, the polls have been open at City Hall and the Forsyth County Administration Building, both in downtown Cumming.

“The total for both locations, all advance voting so far, is 483,” said Mandi Smith with the local elections office. “It did pick up a little bit, and we’re hopeful that that will continue.”

So far, both polling locations are getting similar numbers.

“Administration building’s week two total is 153 … they’ve had a two weeks total of 245 in-person voting,” said Smith, adding that the two week tally at City Hall was 238, 140 of whom voted last week.

Starting Saturday, early voting expanded to a third location, Midway Park.

Voting times this week at the three locations are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Election Day is June 16, when the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On that day, however, voters must go to their designated precinct.

District 24 spans an area that covers Cumming and the middle of Forsyth County. It includes parts of six precincts: Coal Mountain; Cumming; Midway; Heardsville; Otwell; and Polo.

All registered voters in the Cumming precinct are eligible to vote in the council election, though some — depending on street address — may not be able to cast a ballot in the state House contest.

Both races are to fill vacancies created by the departure of long-serving officials.

The House seat opened May 11, when incumbent Mark Hamilton announced he was stepping down to pursue a job opportunity in Tennessee. About 18 months remain on his term.

The field for that contest includes Ethan Underwood and David Van Sant, local attorneys, as well as Sheri Gilligan, who challenged Hamilton in 2014, and Will Kremer, former state chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans.

A runoff election, if necessary, would be held July 14.

The nonpartisan council race features four candidates: Roger Crow, a past president of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce; former Forsyth County Commissioner Linda Ledbetter; Julie Tressler, a real estate agent and small business owner; and Cumming banker Chuck Welch.

The top vote-getter will fill the remaining 18 months on Rupert Sexton’s term. Sexton, who had held the post since 1971, announced on April 21 that he would be stepping down to enjoy retirement.