Polls open 7-7 today for House District 71 special election

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
sarah@newnan.com
Voters in precincts for Georgia House District 71 will head to the polls Tuesday for the special election.
Polls will be open district-wide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for voting in the special election.
Ten polling places will be open in Coweta County for voting: Moreland, Raymond, Turin, Sharpsburg, Ebenezer Church Road, Arts Center, White Oak, Madras, Canongate, and Thomas Crossroads.
The Arts Center and Turin precincts are “split precincts” — meaning that not all voters who vote in those precincts are in District 71. But all voters in the rest of the precincts do live in the district, said Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins.
There is also a portion of Peachtree City in Fayette County included in District 71.
A number of residents may still be confused about whether or not they live in District 71. The lines changed after redistricting, and the new lines first became effective in 2012.
There have been a few people who showed up to vote early who actually don’t live in the district, said Scoggins. Most of those voters live in District 70, which is represented by State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan.

Voters in Senoia and Haralson, as well as some Turin voters, now live in District 72, represented by Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City. District 71 covered those areas before redistricting.

Scoggins estimates that about half the people who came to the Voter Registration Office in the County Administration Building to early vote on Friday didn’t live in the district.

One reason may be that there are campaign signs located outside the district.

Early voting has been slow. But on Friday, the last day of early voting, things were busy.

The best way to find out what district you live in is to check the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at www.sos.georgia.gov/mvp , or you can call the Coweta Voter Registration Office at 770-254-2615.

There are six candidates for the state house seat, which became vacant upon the withdrawal of Robert Stokely, who was elected in 2012 to replace Billy Horne, R-Sharpsburg, who did not seek reelection. Stokely withdrew to become a judge in Coweta Magistrate Court.

The candidates are: Democrat Cynthia Bennett, an economics teacher at East Coweta High School; and Republicans Richard Weisser, a real estate agent; David Stover, a marketing business owner; Darryl Marmon, an attorney; Michael Farbo Jr., retired U.S. Army special operations; and Tom Crymes, a commercial construction company owner.

If one candidate doesn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff, to be held on March 5.

There are 3,000 Fayette County residents in the portion of Peachtree City included in District 71, said Scoggins.

As of Wednesday, only three of them had voted early, she said.

Scoggins is expecting a low turnout for the election, but she’s hoping it won’t be too low.

“I hate to have an election that people don’t vote in.”



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