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Clayton runoff voting slow but steady
by Bill Baldowski
bbaldowski@neighbornewspapers.com
August 21, 2012 02:17 PM | 2123 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although Clayton County residents are faced with four important runoff races today following the July 31 general primary, poll workers, as expected, are seeing a small voter turnout.

Cynthia Mears, poll manager for the Morrow 2 precinct at Morrow City Hall, said that, by noon today, approximately 90 voters had cast ballots while at the Morrow 9 precinct, poll manager Billy Williams said about 60 had voted by that time.

The small runoff turnout could have been forecast by the number of voters in line when the polls opened at 7 this morning.

Mears said her precinct had one in line when they opened while Williams had five.

Runoff races today include those for chairman of the Clayton County Commission, sheriff, Clayton County Commission District 3 and state senate District 44.

In the commission chairman race, incumbent Eldrin Bell faces a stiff challenge from former Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner while, in the sheriff race, incumbent Kem Kimbrough faces former sheriff Victor Hill, the man he defeated for the post in 2008.

In the senate district 44 race, incumbent Gail Davenport faces former senator Gail Buckner while in the Clayton County Commission District 3 race, incumbent Wole Ralph faces attorney Shana Rooks.

Although no major problems had been reported at any precinct, Mears and Williams said some instances had occurred where voters who had voted on a Republican ballot in the general primary had returned to vote in the runoff but could not.

“Once we explained why they could not vote in the runoff, where all the candidates were on the Democratic ballot, they left,” Mears said.

“They were disappointed but seemed to understand why they could not vote,” she added.

She and Williams expect the runoff to draw approximately half the number who voted in the general primary where Clayton County had approximately 25 percent of the registered voters to cast ballots.

Mears also sees the upcoming presidential election in November as another reason for the small runoff turnout.

“Some may see the presidential election as the big one and plan to wait until then when the ballot will contain candidates from both par-ties,” she said.

Mears and Williams agreed that although the number of voters has not been great thus far today, voting has been steady.

“We could see a few more voters come in after they get off work but we aren’t expecting it to be a great number,” Mears said.

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