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Turnout light in area runoff elections

Burgess wins in Clarkesville, Rogers, Turk in Banks County

POSTED: December 1, 2009 9:59 p.m.

Sometimes, every vote does count.

That was the case Tuesday in Clarkesville, when just 114 voters decided a runoff race for a city council seat in Clarkesville on Tuesday.

But that’s only a bit smaller than the number of voters who turned out for the Nov. 3 election, when 164 out of 750 registered voters cast ballots for a 21.8 percent turnout.

Tuesday’s runoff election pitted Tommy Burgess against Becky Sandven for an open slot on the City Council. Burgess, who also had the most votes in the Nov. 3 election, won with 75 votes to Sandven’s 39, according to City Clerk Elizabeth Kemp.

A total of 113 persons voted and one absentee ballot was cast, Kemp said. One absentee ballot was not returned to City Hall by mail. Results took only about 30 minutes to count.

The turnout was better in Banks County for the pair of runoff elections to fill two new seats on the county commission.

Tuesday’s turnout was 18.24 percent, with 1,494 total ballots cast. Turnout for the Nov. 3 election was 22.75, according to Probate Court Judge Betty Thomas, Banks County's elections superintendent.

With 872 votes, Ernest Rogers defeated Fred Wendt, who had 577 votes, in the District 2 commission race. Rogers also received the most votes among all four candidates in the Nov. 3 election.

In the District 4 race, Charles Turk’s 772 votes gave him the slight edge over Robin Trotter, with 705 votes. In the Nov. 3 race, it was Trotter who had the most votes in the three-person field, though not enough votes to avoid the runoff.

Some 139 absentee votes were cast early for the runoff election, Thomas said. It took a little more than an hour to tabulate Tuesday’s complete results.



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