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Runoffs set today for area races
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November has come and gone, but election season for 2009 isn’t quite over yet.

Locally, there will be runoff elections today to decide races in Banks County and the city of Clarkesville.

In Banks, voters will be deciding who will fill two newly created seats on the county commission.

Voters will have to choose between Ernest Rogers and Fred Wendt for Post 2 and between Robin Trotter and Charles Turk for Post 4.

Traditionally, fewer voters turn out for runoff elections, but election officials are optimistic that the numbers won’t be extremely low.

“We had about 139 in-person absentee votes and around 40 mail-out ballots, but we haven’t received all of those back yet,” said Probate Court Judge Betty Thomas, Banks County elections superintendent.

“It would be nice to have at least 50 percent of voters participate, but we didn’t even have that for the special election (on Nov. 3). Then we only had a 22.75 percent turn out. But there seems to be a lot of interest in these races, so we’ll see how it turns out.”

All of the county’s polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., Thomas said.

Clarkesville’s lone runoff has Tommy Burgess facing Becky Sandven for a City Council seat.

In the Nov. 7 general election, Burgess earned 53 votes to Sandven’s 47. They bested Robert R. Aycock, who had 45 votes, and Cadman Robb Kiker III, with 13.

In all, 164 out of 750 registered voters cast ballots in the city, a 21.8 percent turnout.

In early voting for the runoff, only a few people cast ballots, City Clerk Elizabeth Kemp said Monday.

That could be an indicator for a low turnout today. If so, Kemp said, the city could easily have election results in an hour.

Votes were tabulated in about 90 minutes for the general election on Nov. 3, she added.

All city voting will take place at Clarkesville City Hall, 123 North Laurel Drive.