Three runoff races on ballot

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Tom Drake, from Sharpsburg, was one of more than 200 persons to cast their ballot in Coweta County Monday at the start of advance voting for the run-off election.

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com Early voting for the Dec. 2 runoff election began Monday in Coweta County, and some 215 people came to personally cast ballots at the Coweta County Voter Registrar's Office. There are three races on the ballot. The most well known is between U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. Chambliss got 49.8 percent of the vote in the Nov. 4 general election to Martin's 46.8 percent. Libertarian Allen Buckley got 3.4 percent in that race.
The other two races on the ballot are for the Georgia Public Service Commission, and the Georgia Court of Appeals. Republican Lauren "Bubba" McDonald and Democrat Jim Powell are vying for a seat on the PSC. Powell got 47.9 percent, and McDonald got 47.2 percent, of the vote in the general election, with Liberation Brandon Givens receiving 4.9 percent. The court of appeals candidates are Sara Doyle and Mike Sheffield. Doyle got 22.5 percent of the Nov. 4 vote, and Sheffield got 20.9 percent. There were seven candidates for the non-partisan seat. The Coweta Voter Registrar's Office will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, for early voting. Next week, the office will be open 8:30 to 5 Monday through Wednesday, but will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. The last day to vote early in person will be Saturday, Nov. 29, when the office will be open from 9 a.m. to noon. Polling places will be open county-wide on Tuesday, Dec., 2, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Coweta Voter Registrar Joan Hamilton hopes to start mailing paper absentee ballots on Wednesday. Because of the short time span between the certification of the Nov. 4 general election and the runoff, the paper ballots haven't been received from the printer yet. But Coweta voters will be getting their paper ballots earlier than most. "We were lucky, our printers were ready to go," said Hamilton. "It's just a matter of when they got all the information to start printing." Those wanting absentee ballots should get their requests in as soon as possible, and put the ballot back in the mail as quickly as they can. Because of the holiday, the last day that ballots can be mailed out is next Wednesday, Nov. 25. Requests for absentee ballots can be mailed or faxed to the Coweta Voter Registrar's office. For more information, call 770-254-2615. Early voting for the Nov. 4 election was extremely popular, with waits of up to five hours. But voting officials weren't expecting a big turnout for the runoff. "We were surprised that it has been this busy so far," Hamilton said. "A lot of people are going to be out of town next week, so I think they're trying to get it out of the way." Theresa Casey was voting shortly after 4 on Monday. "It is nice to be able to do this when I'm off work," she said. Early voting "is so convenient," she said. She doesn't have to worry about whether she will need to take time off work, or go in late or get off early to make sure she gets to the polls. Her husband is self employed, so he really enjoys the Saturday voting, she said. Fellow early voter Nancy Sizemore agreed. It's her third time early voting. "I love it," she said.

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