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All precincts open to 7 p.m. tonight

December 4, 2018

All 25 precincts in Floyd County are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the runoff to decide two statewide races — Georgia secretary of state and a Public Service Commission seat.

Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger are vying for the secretary of state position charged with overseeing voting. Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller are battling it out for a seat on the PSC, which regulates utilities.

Floyd County Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady said Monday that any voter registered by the Oct. 9 deadline is eligible to vote in the runoff, even if they didn’t vote in the November general election.

Voters must go to their assigned precincts today.

Those who are voting absentee should be aware of a change, for this election, in the deadline to return their ballots.

“Because there was such a short time to get them out, any ballot postmarked by Election Day that we have in our hands by Friday will be counted,” Brady said.

The law says “by the last mail delivery,” he noted, but if anyone hand-delivers their ballot before the office closes at 5 p.m. it will be accepted. Brady said few problems with absentee ballots have been reported locally, although there could be delays in the mail.

The Nov. 6 election results were certified a week late due to a tight, and hotly disputed, gubernatorial race ultimately won by Republican Brian Kemp, who stepped down as secretary of state when it appeared it could go into a recount or runoff.

“It’s possible, because there’s only been one week of early voting, that there are (absentee) ballots still out there in the mail,” Brady said.

Anyone who requested an absentee ballot and prefers to vote in person may do so today.

“Bring it to the polls if they have it, or come in and sign an affidavit. We’ll cancel it and they can vote in person,” he said.

Many of the voters requesting absentee ballots are elderly. Brady said state law allows voters who are disabled or age 65 and older to be moved to the front of the line if they identify themselves as such to a poll worker.

“That doesn’t always mean they can vote immediately, but we’ll make every effort to expedite the process,” he said. “Since there are only two races on the ballot, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.”

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