All precincts open to 7 p.m. tonight

♦ Vot­ers statewide will de­cide two races from Novem­ber where no can­di­date polled a ma­jor­ity.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner DWag­[email protected]

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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