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The Local Agenda: Early voting remains steady for 2nd week
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As far as midterm elections go, Hall County voters appear to be taking advantage of early voting options.

Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee reports 6,861 voters have cast ballots during the first two weeks of advance voting, with 506 voters showing up to the polls this past Saturday.

Sosebee said an additional 1,306 mail-in/absentee ballots have been returned thus far, while more than 2,000 have been mailed to date.

Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday. Election Day is Nov. 4.

Sosebee said turnout this year is likely to be similar to the last midterm election cycle in 2010.

Nearly 10,900 ballots were cast during the entirety of early voting that year, and 2,389 mail-in/absentee ballots were returned.

And a little more than 30,400 voters cast ballots on Election Day in 2010, which put total turnout at 56.04 percent of registered voters.

In 2012, a presidential election year when turnout is typically much higher, Hall County had 23,882 early voters, 2,931 mail-in/absentee ballots returned and 34,749 ballots cast on Election Day.

Total turnout in 2012 was 70.09 percent.

Statewide this year, more than 440,000 voters have cast ballots during the advance voting period, which includes both early voting at polls and mail-in/absentee ballots returned, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Turnout has been highest in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett and Henry counties.

Republicans to campaign in Gainesville this weekend

With Election Day now one week away, candidates in hotly contested national and statewide races are hitting the campaign trail and meeting with voters.

At 1 p.m. this Saturday, the GOP bus tour rolls into Gainesville.

Gov. Nathan Deal will be joined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and 9th District U.S. Rep. Doug Collins at the Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.

Gainesville City Council to take up Ahaluna development

Gainesville City Council will meet for a work session Thursday morning to discuss an annexation and rezoning request that will allow for the development of a 219-lot upscale subdivision off Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville, near the shores of Lake Lanier.

West Ahaluna LLC, a local developer with ties to America’s Home Place, is asking Gainesville to annex about 70 acres and rezone another 32 acres in order to proceed with building the subdivision.

The city’s planning and appeals board has given its OK to the controversial development, which residents in the Ahaluna Drive area, as well as Hall County officials, vehemently oppose.

The City Council work session begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 301 of the Administration Building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

jsilavent@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/joshuasilavent

@joshuasilavent

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