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Runoff wraps up busy cycle
Six elections cost about $350,000
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Forsyth County News


Just 3 percent of Forsyth County voters cast a ballot in the General Election Runoff, yet that was a higher turnout than projected.

“I really didn’t think we’d get that many,” said Barbara Luth, the county’s elections supervisor.

“But it is disappointing because we had a lot of people out there and a lot of equipment and everything we had to go through for only 3.24 percent to show up and vote.”

Turnout for Tuesday’s runoff, which featured two state judicial posts, was also low statewide. So low, in fact, that the winners of both races drew fewer votes than the candidates with the least support in last month’s balloting.

In the Court of Appeals contest, Chris McFadden received about 62 percent of the vote statewide to defeat Antoinette “Toni” Davis.

In Forsyth County, McFadden got 2,278 votes, or 76.2 percent, to 711 votes, or 23.8 percent, for Davis.

In the state Supreme Court race, David Nahmias topped Tammy Lynn Adkins with about 67 percent of the vote statewide.

In Forsyth, Nahmias fared better, tallying 2,530 votes, or about 82 percent, to Adkins’ 566 votes, or about 18 percent.

Luth said the 3 percent turnout for the runoff was a surprise considering she had projected 1 percent. But despite limited staffing at the polls, the runoff still cost between $25,000 and $30,000 to hold.

“You can’t run an election for less than that,” she said.

But elections can cost a lot more. For example, Luth said the general primary from July cost about $125,000.

“It was a biggie,” she said. “You have double ballots that you have to order for Republicans and Democrats.”

The county has held six elections this year: a special election in May; the July primary; the General Election on Nov. 2; and one runoff for each of the three.

In total, Luth estimates the cost to Forsyth County is about $350,000.

Fortunately for the county’s budget, elections are finished for 2010. But two elections — Cumming city government and a 1-cent sales tax for education — could be on tap for 2011.

In the meantime, Luth said she’s going to focus on the end to a busy year.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” she said. “My team has done a wonderful job of stepping in and conducting all of these elections. I have a very good staff. I couldn’t do it without them.”