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More voters expected for next round of elections
Next week's runoff should draw more than first vote
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Election calendar
Monday: Early voting begins for primary
June 8: Special election runoff for U.S. House 9th District seat
June 21: Last day to register to vote in state primary
July 20: State primary
Aug. 10: State primary runoff, if needed
Sept. 21: Special election to fill vacancies, including Flowery Branch City Council seat
Oct. 4: Last day to register to vote in general election
Nov. 2: General election
Nov. 30: General election runoff, if needed

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Early voting has gotten off to a robust start in Hall County.

So far, more than 450 ballots have been cast in the runoff election between Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins for the U.S. House 9th District seat.

“That’s a high count,” said Charlotte Sosebee, interim elections superintendent for Hall County.

“We’re predicting that we have a turnout for the runoff that’s higher than the 18 percent we had for the (initial special election on May 11).”

The two Republican candidates are seeking to fill the seat that was vacated by former Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, in March. Deal’s resignation concluded his 18-year career in Washington, but left several unexpired months left in his current term. The winner of the runoff will hold the position until the seat expires in December.

While it may seem unusual to have more voters in a runoff than in the original election, Sosebee said it’s not such an anomaly in Hall County.

“That’s pretty normal for Hall,” she said. “Lately, we’ve had a lot of voters turn out for runoff elections.”

Although residents can vote early at the elections and voter registration office on Browns Bridge Road, Sosebee said she’s had an uptick in absentee ballot requests.

“Some parties have sent out mailers to voters with requests for absentee ballots,” she said. “And we’ve been getting a lot of those post card (ballot) requests.”

Whereas Hall officials are predicting a larger turnout, officials in Forsyth County aren’t as optimistic. Barbara Luth, the county’s elections supervisor, is only expecting to see 10 percent participation — that’s a 2 percent decrease from the previous special election.

According to Luth, fewer voters will probably turn out because the original candidates for whom they were voting won’t be on this ballot.

Early voting for the runoff election ends Friday, with the official election taking place on June 8.