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Runoff draws small crowd

Turnout low despite interest in Senate race

POSTED: July 23, 2014 2:02 a.m.

Traffic remains slow and steady at Gainesville First United Methodist Church at the West Whelchel voting precinct.

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Turnout in Hall County for Tuesday’s runoff election was better than officials had anticipated, but still decreased from the primary in May.

According to unofficial results, 13,179 votes were cast in the runoff, a turnout of 16.7 percent of registered voters.

Turnout in May was slightly less than 20 percent.

Most of the ballots cast were for Republican races. Less than 400 Democratic votes were cast for the state school superintendent runoff on the ballot.

The smaller turnout was evident Tuesday at precincts across the county.

At the Brenau Downtown Center, Poll Manager Evelyn Crain said 150 ballots had been cast by 6 p.m., an hour before polls closed.

In May, however, the same precinct had almost 400 voters come through.

At the old East Hall Library, Poll Manager Brenda Williamson said turnout was steady throughout the day.

But just 109 votes had been cast at the precinct by 6 p.m., while close to 300 were cast there in May.

Despite the drop in turnout, the battle between Republican candidates David Perdue and Jack Kingston for the party’s nomination in the race for the state’s U.S. Senate seat seemed to energize local voters.

Amanda, who declined to give her last name, said she voted for Perdue in May but switched this time, casting her lot with Kingston.

Amanda said while she appreciated Perdue’s business acumen, she felt Kingston’s experience in Washington would better serve the state.

Sisters Catherine and Eva split hairs over the best Republican candidate to face Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in November’s general election.

Catherine said she voted for Perdue because she thinks new blood is needed in Washington.

Eva, meanwhile, cast her vote for Kingston, saying his experience made the difference.

Results in Hall County will be certified once provisional and military ballots are counted.

Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said five military ballots remain outstanding, but she would not know the number of provisional ballots until later today.

Just 14 provisional ballots were accepted in May.


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