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Polls open till 7 p.m. for special election


For election results and complete coverage of Tuesday’s contests, check back tonight at

CUMMING — There isn’t a countywide contest on the ballot, but voters in some parts of Forsyth are heading to the polls today for a special election to fill the District 24 seat in the state House of Representatives and/or Post 1 on the Cumming City Council.

Each race features four candidates. The council seat will go to the top vote-getter, while the House race could be headed to a July 14 runoff election.

The polls are open until 7 tonight.

Unlike early voting, which was conducted at three sites, registered voters today must report 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 voters in the Cumming precinct (City Hall) are eligible to vote in the council election, though some — depending on street address — may not be able to cast a ballot in the House contest.

At City Hall, poll workers reported this morning that they had to turn away some 40 potential voters because they didn’t live in the city or District 24. That was nearly as many people as had cast ballots by lunchtime.

As of 3 p.m., 1,184 people had voted on either or both ballots, according to the Forsyth County website. The Midway precinct had recorded the most votes at 344, followed by Otwell (245) and Polo (243).

Both races on the ballot 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.