Some of Forsyth County’s new-look voting precincts will be tested in about a month during a special election to fill the vacant state House District 22 post.
When the Office of Voter Registration and Elections started recasting the precinct map, the changes weren’t anticipated to take effect until 2014. However, the death of state Rep. Calvin Hill on Oct. 30 changed that.
In order to fill Hill’s seat before the 2014 Georgia General Assembly convenes, a special election has been set for Jan. 7
The district includes the southwest corner of Forsyth — the Brandywine, Midway and Polo precincts — and parts of Cherokee and Fulton counties.
Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth said the unexpected special election will “be a good test of the absentee module of the new statewide voter registration system.” She added that staff also will gain “some hands-on experience before the major elections in 2014.”
The voting map realignment, which the local elections board approved last month, reduces Forsyth’s precincts to 16 from 25 and shuffles many polling sites.
During its monthly meeting Monday, the board set Saturday voting for the special election on Dec. 28, which will be in addition to regular early voting which begins Dec. 16.
Luth said the election will likely cost less than $20,000, if no runoff is required on Feb. 4.
The District 22 field includes: attorney Nate Cochran, 37, of Alpharetta; teacher Meagan Biello, 31; Jeff Duncan, 52, a director of business development; and business owner Sam Moore, 37. Biello, Duncan and Moore are all Ball Ground residents.
Unlike regular elections, there is no party primary. While the election is non-partisan, the candidates' party affiliation — all four have identified themselves as Republicans — will be listed on the ballot.
There's about one year remaining in the term.
To participate in the election, citizens must be registered to vote by Dec. 9.
Those already registered should soon receive a new voter precinct card, alerting them to any changes.
As of Tuesday, the state had not delivered them to the county. Once received, the local elections office must then review the cards before they are mailed out.
“We’re verifying and checking everything as we go along,” Luth said.
If the cards don’t make it in time, she said the office would send letters to the some 10,500 registered Forsyth voters in District 22.
“They have to be sent at least 30 days before the election,” Luth said. “We’ll send a letter if [the cards are] not on time.”