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Runoff election Tuesday
Sheriff, coroner among contests
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Forsyth County News

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• More voting information, including precincts, can be found on Forsyth County's Web site, or call (770) 781-2118.

• Also: When voting, voters will be asked to provide one of six forms of photo identification, including a driver's license or U.S. passport.

• And be sure to visit Tuesday night for election coverage and results.

Forsyth County voters can return to the polls Tuesday for the runoff election.

At stake are Republican races that likely will determine the county’s next coroner, sheriff and District 4 county commissioner, as well as set the Nov. 6 field for District 9 U.S. House of Representatives post.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

About 4,000 residents voted during the county’s early and advance voting periods for the runoff.

Barbara Luth, Forsyth’s elections supervisor, said the congressional race between Doug Collins and Martha Zoller in District 9, which includes north Forsyth, does not appear to be the main focus of voters.

“The interest has really been good, I think, because of the local races,” Luth said. “You have top positions with the sheriff, coroner and district commissioner, so I think they’re interested in wanting to get out for their candidates.”

County Commissioner Patrick Bell is fighting to retain his seat in District 4, which spans most of north Forsyth, against Cindy Jones Mills.

Mills drew the most votes of the five candidates in the July 31 Republican primary.

Also drawing interest is the sheriff’s race featuring incumbent Ted Paxton and Duane Piper, a veteran lawman who retired from the agency last fall.

Paxton received 13,093 votes, or 48 percent of the total last month, while Piper received 7,529 votes, or 27 percent.

For coroner, it comes down to Harold Bennett and Mary Beth Pais to succeed Lauren McDonald, who has held the office for nearly 12 years. McDonald ran unsuccessfully for sheriff.

Pais received 10,570 votes, or about 43 percent in the primary, while Bennett tallied 8,150 votes, or about 34 percent.

No Democrats or independent candidates have qualified for the commissioner, coroner or sheriff’s races in the General Election on Nov. 6, so whoever wins Tuesday likely will secure the post.

Only those who voted a Republican ballot in the primary are eligible to vote in the runoff, since all the races on the ballot are for that party.

Anyone who took a nonpartisan ballot or did not vote also can take part.

Luth said she expects turnout Tuesday to be lighter than last month. Each precinct will have at least four machines, some as many as eight.

“Nobody gets less than four, but it doesn’t take long to vote the ballot,” she said. “It may be just like it’s been, steady but not overwhelming. They’re not going to have any lines.”

While all county residents get to vote for sheriff and coroner, only those in the northern precincts will get to vote for county commission and congress.

Luth said this could skew turnout, since voters on the south end are voting in fewer races.

“South Forsyth as a rule, votes quite largely. They’re interested voters,” she said. “South might not be as heavy as north now, but the south Forsyth people do come out and vote.”