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Early voting underway for runoff
GOP races for governor, Congress on local ballot
In this Herald file photo from July 13, Kathleen Koon, right, approaches poll worker Debbie Deal as she takes advantage of early voting at the Honey Bowen Building.

      Registered voters in Bulloch County and around Georgia can once again select their preferred candidates in advance. Ballots for the Aug. 10 runoff include six races.
      Early voting began Wednesday at the Bulloch County Courthouse and lasts through next Friday, Aug. 6. The runoff election will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 10, when regular area precincts will open for voting, said Shontay Jones, deputy registrar for Bulloch County.
      Absentee voting requests can be placed as late as next Friday, but must be returned to the courthouse by the day of the election to be counted, Jones said.
      There are six runoff elections total, with five on the Republican ballot and one on the Democratic ballot.
      Nathan Deal faces Karen Handel in the Republican runoff for governor. The seat of U.S. Representative for District 12, currently occupied by incumbent John Barrow, is challenged by a Republican runoff between Raymond McKinney and Carl Smith.
      The runoff for the office of Georgia Secretary of State is the area’s only Democratic runoff, between Gail Buckner and Georganna Sinkfield. Runoffs for Attorney General, Commissioner of Insurance and Public Service Commissioner also will be on the Republican ballot.
      Voting in the runoff election is open to any registered Georgia voter, not just those who participated in the primary election. Although, voters must cast a ballot for the same party they selected in the primary election.
      “If a person didn’t vote in the primary they can still vote in the runoff,” Jones said. “Also, if a person voted Republican in the primary they must vote Republican in the runoff, but if they didn’t vote in the primary they can select either party.”
      Since Wednesday 21 people have cast ballots through early voting. Jones said that the small time frame may be part of the cause for the small turnout so far but added that absentee ballots have yet to be counted.
      “We’re set up for paper or in person voting,” Jones said. “There are no lines and we’re ready to go.”

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