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Advance voting at a crawl so far at Hall precincts
City council races, alcohol referendum, open state House seat on the ballots
Paul and Martha Wilson fill out forms Friday as they prepare to vote during advance voting at the Hall County Elections Office on Browns Bridge Road. Turnout at the county office has averaged between 40 and 60 voters a day. - photo by Tom Reed

Advance voting

Gainesville and House District 25 races
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 4
Where: Hall County Elections Office, 2285 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
More info: 770-531-6945

4035 Walnut Circle, Oakwood
More info: 770-534-2365

Flowery Branch
5517 Main St., Flowery Branch
More info: 770-967-6371


Foot traffic at voting precincts across Hall County has been slow for advance voting, officials say, and some are skeptical it will increase.

Advance voting began Oct. 17 for most local municipal elections and a special election to fill a vacancy in state House District 25.

Those elections include positions on the city councils in Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Clermont and Lula. A Sunday alcohol package sales referendum is on the ballot in Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood.

Interim Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said voter turnout has been lackluster but she is hopeful it will improve before the advance voting period ends Nov. 4.

"Actually (voter turnout has) been very low," she said. "We've averaged anywhere from 40 to 60 voters (each day) and that includes both the city of Gainesville and the county."

She said poll worker training begins Monday and she expects voters to be more prevalent then.

"Usually the poll workers, when they come in for training, usually they go ahead and vote and you'll see members of their families coming in as well," Sosebee said.

The only item on the ballot in Oakwood is the Sunday alcohol sales referendum, and only three people had cast a vote by Friday afternoon, Oakwood City Clerk Tangee Puckett said. She's not confident turnout will improve.

"This year we have two different locations and I think that's going to be confusing to some," Puckett said.

Braselton, Flowery Branch and Oakwood residents are required to go to their local city halls to vote on the council races and alcohol referendum.

However, if they wish to vote in the special election to replace Rep. James Mills, who stepped down to take an appointment to the state Pardons and Paroles board, they must vote at the Hall County Elections Office on Browns Bridge Road.

Puckett, though, is hopeful that when the election is held Nov. 8, voter turnout will be more impressive.

"I would hope so, but I just hope that two locations don't discourage them," she said.

Phone messages and emails for Flowery Branch's city clerk regarding advance voting weren't returned Friday.


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