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Voters across region get their say
Today is election day; polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ann Cook, poll manager at the Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church precinct, performs a check Monday of voting equipment at the Hall County elections office in Gainesville. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Today's special election will cost county taxpayers $18,000 in addition to what they're paying for local municipal elections.

Voters in Hall County have myriad choices to make today.

On the ballot are options for city leadership in Clermont, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Gillsville, Lula and Braselton; a new state House representative for District 25 and a decision on whether city residents want the option of buying packaged alcohol on Sundays.

Some even have to journey to two places to make those decisions.

Residents who live in the southern reaches of Gainesville and in South Hall's cities will have to vote at two precincts if they want to cast ballots in all of today's elections.

Gainesville, Braselton, Flowery Branch and Oakwood residents will need to go to their respective, local polling places to vote on either council races or a referendum calling for Sunday alcohol sales, or both.

If they want to vote on James Mills' successor to the state House District 25 seat, they must go to their assigned county precinct.

Interim Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said 15 Hall County precincts will be open for the state House race.

A contested City Council race is taking place in Flowery Branch and in Gainesville, and the alcohol referendum is on ballots in Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Braselton.

Seven people are vying for the District 25 seat, which encompasses South Hall.

Mills, a Chestnut Mountain Republican, left the office after he was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the state Pardons and Paroles Board.

Residents of Ward 4 in Gainesville are also part of Mills' old House district.

Gainesville has one contested council race: Local businesswoman Debra Harkrider is challenging longtime incumbent Bob Hamrick for the Ward 2 seat.

There are 35,818 eligible voters in the District 25 special election to find Mills' successor.

Of that number, 1,049 live in Gainesville; 3,045, Flowery Branch; 459, Buford; 1,021, Braselton; and 1,453, Oakwood voters.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Elections officials say there will be signs posted at voting precincts to remind voters of the two elections.

Staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.