With 796 Bulloch County residents having voted Monday and Tuesday, early voting here has been steady in the statewide runoff for Georgia secretary of state and a Public Service Commission seat.
Voters number “662 and 663 just walked in the door,” Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones had said when phoned shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. So another 133 voters must have filed through before 5 p.m., when she provided the total of 416 Tuesday voters and the cumulative 796.
She said that if the total from Monday, 380 voters, became the average for the week, that would be “good for the runoff” in early voting. With more voters Tuesday, the daily average is now 398.
Early voting is available three more days, 8 a.m-5 p.m. through Friday, and in only one location, the Board of Elections and Registration office in the county annex, 113 N. Main St.
Then voting will be available in traditional precincts Tuesday, Dec. 4, the official Election Day, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Secretary of state
This election features the runoff between Republican nominee Brad Raffensperger and Democratic nominee John Barrow and for secretary of state. Raffensperger held a slight lead with 1,906,564 votes statewide, or 49.1 percent of the total, to 1,890,211 votes, or 48.7 percent, for Barrow in the Nov. 6 general election, where a Libertarian candidate was eliminated.
Barrow, an attorney, represented Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, which includes Statesboro, in the U.S. House of Representatives for 10 years.
Raffensperger, a structural engineer and licensed contractor who owns a business with about 150 employees, has represented Johns Creek in north Fulton County in the Georgia House of Representatives the past four years.
Since the Nov. 8 resignation of Governor-elect Brian Kemp as secretary of state, Robyn A. Crittenden is serving as secretary of state by interim appointment from Gov. Nathan Deal. But either Raffensperger or Barrow will replace Crittenden in January at the helm of the office that oversees elections and administers corporate registration and professional licensing in Georgia.
PSC District 3
The Public Service Commission runoff is also a statewide election, since PSC members are elected statewide to represent the districts in which they live. Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democratic challenger Lindy Miller both hail from the Atlanta area.
The commission regulates electric power and natural gas utilities in Georgia and has some responsibilities in telecommunications regulation.
Eaton was first elected to the PSC in December 2006 and was previously its chairman. Miller is s first-time candidate and co-founded a renewable energy company.
General election turnout
If local early voting in the runoff continues at Monday and Tuesday’s pace, about 2,000 people will have voted in-person in Bulloch County by the close of advanced voting voting at 5 p.m. Friday.
But that would still be a fraction of Bulloch’s 11,199 in-person early voters in the Nov. 6 general election, for which there were three weeks of early voting opportunity, plus a Saturday and two additional short-term locations. Total Bulloch County turnout in that election was 59.4 percent, with 23,746 of the 39,983 registered voters participating.