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Early voting for primary runoff begins today

POSTED: July 29, 2010 10:25 p.m.

Hall County citizens can cast ballots again as early voting for the general primary runoff election begins today.

Regular voting takes place Aug. 10, but voters can come to the polls in advance until Aug. 6.

Some other counties will not start early voting until Monday, but Hall County’s Interim Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said the county would be ready today.

“We’ve gotten our database, and we’re going to go ahead and start,” she said. “It’s just making it available to the voters.”

Any voter who was registered by the cutoff deadline of June 21 can vote, but Sosebee said some voters might be confused about their eligibility.

“Those who voted in the July primary are bound to their party ballot for this election, and those who did not vote can choose either party,” she said.

In other words, if a voter cast a ballot for a Republican candidate in the primary, he or she must vote as a Republican this time around.

“I’m sure we’ll have some that voted one party and wish to vote the other,” Sosebee said. “But they can’t.”

Ross Alexander, political science professor at North Georgia College & State University, said when voters do cast their ballots in this race, their votes are likely to count even more, as fewer citizens come to the polls for primaries and runoffs.

“A few thousand votes could decide this thing,” he said.

Sosebee projects Hall County’s turnout to be about 12 percent for this election, which includes the closely followed gubernatorial race between Nathan Deal and Karen Handel and the 9th District congressional contest between Lee Hawkins and Tom Graves.

And in a predominantly Republican state such as Georgia, the primary elections could be even more important than citizens might think.

“In Georgia, and most states that are dominated by a single party, primary elections are usually the more important elections than even the general election,” Alexander said. “Almost always you would assume that the Republican candidate is going to win the general election.”



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