Coweta's turnout only 27 percent
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Tuesday’s election went smoothly with no problems reported, according to Jane Scoggins, Coweta County elections superintendent.
“It went very well,” Scoggins said.
“I was thinking we would have between 30 and 40 percent turnout,” Scoggins said.
And even so, “I think we were a little bit higher than the state,” she said.
Despite a very long ballot, all votes were counted by around 11 p.m.
“We left here by 11:15 or so,” Scoggins said. “I thought it would be a lot later.”
Poll workers were able to start counting votes from in-person early voting at just after 7 p.m., Scoggins said.
The elections office used the Georgia Secretary of State’s new Election Night Reporting System, and Scoggins said the system worked well.
“I was really pleased. I love the reporting system,” Scoggins said. “It was so much easier for us.”
In the past, the state’s line would be busy when local workers were trying to upload information, she said.
The new system also gives elections officials, the media and the general public access to election results from counties all over the state, including precinct totals.
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Third District) thanked his supporters Wednesday for his successful re-election.
“I would like to thank the great people of Georgia’s Third Congressional District for sending me back to Washington to continue the fight on their behalf,” Westmoreland, who resides near Grantville, said in a statement. “Like I’ve said in the past, since Republicans took back the House in 2010, we have been chipping away at the out-of-control spending and overregulation that Congressional Democrats and President Obama made an everyday occurrence. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do. And I’m so grateful the people of this district have voted to send me back.”
Westmoreland also thanked his wife, Joan, and his family.
“They are my foundation and I could not do this without them,” he said. “And I would also like to thank all of my supporters, volunteers, and staffers whose hard work helped in this win.”
Westmoreland had kind words for his two primary challengers, Kent Kingsley and Chip Flanegan.
“I would like to congratulate my opponents on hard-fought campaigns,” he said. “It’s the election process that reminds elected officials that they work for the people — not for themselves. I applaud their efforts and would like to thank them for being a part of the process.”
Among those winning seats in Tuesday’s election was Robert Stokely, who fills the State House District 71 post vacated by Billy Horne. With final numbers in, Stokely received 5,258 votes, or 72.30 percent in Coweta to 2,014 or 27.70 percent for Darryl Marmon.
Part of the House District 71 area is in Fayette County. The total two-county vote was 5,497, or 72.37 percent, for Stokely, and 2,099, or 27.63 percent, for Marmon.
Scoggins said she expects to certify the election on Friday. There is one voter who needs to submit proof of citizenship and one voter who needs to bring in a photo ID before their provisional ballots can count. They have until Friday to do so.
“As soon as they bring it, we will certify,” Scoggins said. “Everything is good and we’re looking forward to November.”
Local races in November include a contested race for the Fifth District seat on the Coweta County Board of Commissioners and the District 128 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Coweta County Commissioner Al Smith, a Democrat, is seeking his second term. He’s being challenged by Republican Hayden Marlowe.
Republican Gene King of Meriwether County is challenging Democratic State Rep. Carl Von Epps of LaGrange.
Von Epps has served in the Georgia House of Representatives since 1993. Following redistricting, his district now includes part of Coweta. The precincts in Von Epps’ district are Central, Smokey Road, Pine Road, and Grantville.
Von Epps is pastor of Smith Chapel United Methodist Church in Coweta County.