Early vot­ing for two pri­mary runoff races be­gins Mon­day

The Covington News - - Front page - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Early vot­ing for New­ton County’s two pri­mary runoff races be­gins Mon­day and will last all week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the New­ton County Board of Elec­tions, 1113 Usher St., Cov­ing­ton.

For those who don’t vote early, the ac­tual runoff elec­tion is Aug. 21. In the Repub­li­can race for the Dis­trict 5 Board of Com­mis­sion­ers seat, can­di­dates Ron­nie Dims­dale and Wes­ley Dowdy will face off af­ter gar­ner­ing the ex­act same per­cent­age of votes (29.8 per­cent) in the July 31 pri­mary.

In the Demo­cratic race for the Dis­trict 113 state rep­re­sen­ta­tive seat, in­cum­bent Pam Dick­er­son will face chal­lenger Sharon Sawyer. Dick­er­son cap­tured 42.07 per­cent of the vote com­pared to Sawyer’s 32.47 per­cent. Who­ever wins the runoff will win the seat, as there is no Repub­li­can can­di­date in the run­ning.

De­spite hav­ing only two races, many vot­ers will be able to par­tic­i­pate in one of the races; the only pre- cincts that won’t be open Aug. 21 are Brick Store, Down, New­born and Rocky Plains. How­ever, some precincts are split precincts, mean­ing vot­ers from two dif­fer­ent dis­tricts vote at the same precinct. Vot­ers should check their voter reg­is­tra­tion card or go to the Ge­or­gia Sec­re­tary of State’s My Voter Page, mvp.sos.state.ga.us, to see if they fall in ei­ther of the two races.

In ad­di­tion, vot­ers who voted one party’s pri­mary can­not vote in the other’s

party’s runoff elec­tion. So, for ex­am­ple, if a Dis­trict 5 res­i­dent voted in the Demo­cratic pri­mary, he can­not then vote in the Repub­li­can runoff.

Those who voted non-par­ti­san or did not vote at all can vote in which­ever party’s pri­mary they want. Past runoff turnout

Though voter turnout is gen­er­ally lower in the runoff elec­tion than it is in the pri­mary, the num­bers are dif­fi­cult to com­pare be­cause some vot­ers may not be el­i­gi­ble to vote in the runoff.

How­ever, look­ing at past num­bers might pro­vide some guide.

In 2010, 19.91 per­cent of vot­ers turned out for the pri­mary, with only 12.79 per­cent re­turn­ing for a runoff elec­tion that in­cluded the Repub­li­can race for gover­nor and 12 other lo­cal and state races.

In 2008, 22.13 per­cent of the county’s reg­is­tered vot­ers cast bal­lots in the pri­mary, while only 14 per­cent re­turned for the runoff. In that runoff, there were three county-wide races and one county dis­trict race.

In the 2004 elec­tion, 30.83 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers cast bal­lots in the pri­mary, while only 13.35 re­turned for a runoff that had two state races and two na­tional races.

For more spe­cific ex­am­ples, the 2008 race for the Demo­cratic Dis­trict 3 Board of Com­mis­sion­ers seat saw 1,402 votes in the pri­mary with five can­di­dates, and then 1,155 vot­ers turned back out for the runoff to choose be­tween Nancy Schulz and Jimmy Clark.

In the 2004 state se­nate Repub­li­can race, 6.801 vot­ers cast bal­lots for six can­di­dates, while 3,374 vot­ers choose be­tween John Dou­glas and Michael Wa­ters in the Au­gust runoff.

The re­sults for the 2012 pri­mary were fi­nal­ized last week, and the fi­nal voter turnout was 30.92 per­cent, as 17,071 out of 55,207 reg­is­tered vot­ers cast bal­lots.

Re­ported cases of per­tus­sis/whoop­ing cough in the Gwin­nett, New­ton and Rock­dale County Health dis­trict are trend­ing sim­i­lar to both state and na­tional cases.

Since school has started back up and the area en­ters the fall/win­ter cold and flu sea­son, the New­ton County Health Depart­ment of­fi­cials want to en­sure that all Ge­or­gia res­i­dents are pro­tected from vac­cine-pre­ventable dis­eases. The best way to do this is through vac­ci­na­tions. For whoop­ing cough (per­tus­sis), in­fants and chil­dren should be up to date on their DTaP vac­cines. Pre-teens, teens, and adults should re­ceive a booster dose of DTaP for pro­tec­tion.

Be­cause ba­bies nor­mally re­ceive their fi­nal per­tus­sis vac­ci­na­tion be­tween 15–18 months, it is par­tic­u­larly

File photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

Some New­ton County vot­ers will have their chance to re­turn to the polls for a pair of runoff races. Early vot­ing be­gins Mon­day and the elec­tion is Aug. 21.

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