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Two days of early voting followed recount
Runoff ballot features four contests
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The following locations will be open for voting from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

* North Forsyth Area: Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road

* South Forsyth Area: Sharon Springs Park Community Building, 1950 Sharon Road

* Downtown Cumming: Cumming City Hall, 100 Main St.

* Downtown Cumming: Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St.

* West Forsyth Area: Midway Park Community Building, 5100 Post Road

After a brisk day Friday, the Forsyth County Elections office was open again Saturday for voting in the Aug. 21 runoff.

Supervisor Barbara Luth said voters could cast ballots between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Forsyth County Administration Building.

After Wednesday’s recount confirmed the outcome of the District 26 state House of Representatives and District 27 state Senate races, the local elections office began the rush to begin early voting Friday.

“We tried to get it as quickly as we could and fortunately we were able to … get units ready to go out today,” Luth said Friday. “We never know when runoffs are going to start.

“If the state hadn’t certified it, we couldn’t have been doing early voting.”

Luth said early voting could only happen Friday and Saturday due to timing. But advance voting, which offers voters more polling locations, will run next week.

As of Friday afternoon, Luth said nearly 200 people had voted, so she’s expecting a slightly higher turnout than normal for the runoff.

“Turnout is surprising to me already, so we may get 10 percent, maybe higher,” she said. “Usually runoffs, you don’t get more than 5 to 8 percent.”

While there is a runoff for the District 9 U.S. House seat between Republicans Doug Collins and Martha Zoller, Luth said the main interest from voters appears to be the three local contests.

District 4 County Commissioner Patrick Bell is fighting to retain his seat against Cindy Jones Mills, who received the most votes of five candidates in the July 31 Republican primary.

The sheriff’s race is also drawing attention. Ted Paxton, the incumbent and top vote-getter in a three-man Republican primary, faces Duane K. Piper, a former longtime employee of the office.

The fourth runoff contest is for county coroner and pits Republicans Harold Bennett and Mary Beth Pais.

Those who voted a Republican ballot in the primary are eligible to vote in the runoff, Luth has said, since all the races on the Aug. 21 ballot are for that party.

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