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Grady County voters are voting in greater numbers by absentee ballot as the number of voters taking advantage of the advance in-person voting continues to drag.
Since early vote opened on May 18, only 352 votes have been cast. Of those, 40 were democrat ballots and 312 were republican. No early in-person voters have cast nonpartisan ballots.
“Turnout for in-person voting has been slow. I hope voters who have not had a chance to vote during the week will come out this Saturday, May 30, and vote,” said Grady County’s chief registrar, Malinda Butler.
The one day of Saturday voting will be held at the Grady County Courthouse and voters should enter the north door of the courthouse, on the side of the building closest to Roddenbery Memorial Library.The hours for voting on May 30 will be 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The chief registrar says that 3,546 absentee ballot applications have been received, processed and ballots mailed to the applicants. Of those 3,546, as of Tuesday, 1,946 have been voted and returned. Butler says that the 1,946 ballots that have already been cast break down as follows: 1,218 democratic ballots; 1,300 republican ballots and 37 nonpartisan ballots.
Absentees must be received prior to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9 to be counted, officials say.
The news from across Broad Street in the City of Cairo special election is not much better.
Municipal election superintendent, Dana W. Barfield, reports that only 94 early in-person votes have been cast as of Tuesday. Out of the 148 absentee ballot applications requested, so far only 61 ballots have been voted and returned, according to Barfield.
City voters are reminded in order to receive an absentee ballot for the special election for Cairo’s next mayor, absentee ballot applications must be requested by contacting City Hall or calling (229) 377-1722.
The advance in-person voting in the city election is taking place at the Grady Cultural Center. Barfield also reminds city voters there will not be any Saturday voting in the city election.
“It has been an extremely poor turnout thus far,” Barfield said.
Advance voting continues through Friday, June 5 at 4:30 p.m. for both the primary election and the Cairo special election. Election day is Tuesday, June 9, and polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Due to the lack of sufficient poll workers to man the county’s 13 polling places, election superintendent, Denise Maddox, recently announced the closure of four polling places for the 2020 election cycle.
The polls to be closed include:
Limesink – voters who typically vote at Limesink will vote at Blowing Cave;
Duncanville – voters who typically vote at Duncanville will vote at Midway;
Spring Hill – voters who typically vote at Spring Hill will vote in Whigham;
Ragan – voters who typically vote at Ragan will vote at Higdon.
“We regret any inconvenience, but these closures are necessary under the circumstances,” Maddox said.
Voters are encouraged to make a note of these closures and to share the information with family, friends and neighbors.
Voters are reminded that election day for the City of Cairo special election will not be held at the Agri-Center, which is the traditional polling place. Due to the general primary taking place on the same day, the city election will be conducted at the Grady Cultural Center.
The primary republican ballot features the hotly contested race for sheriff between incumbent Sheriff Harry Young and his republican challengers Steve Clark, Duke Donaldson and Jared Evans. The republican nominee will face the lone democrat in the sheriff’s race, Donald “Dickie” Thomas, in November.
Another primary race on the republican ballot is for tax commissioner. Republican Bobby Newmons is challenging incumbent republican Tax Commissioner Barbara Darus.
In district races on the republican ballot, incumbent June Knight is being challenged by Richard Jordan for the republican nomination for District 1 county commission with the winner facing democrat Ralph Harris in November; incumbent Keith Moye faces off with opponent Celina Sholar for the republican nomination for District 3 county commission.
Voters countywide will also be asked to approve or oppose a new one percent sales tax that can only be spent on transportation related projects. The TSPLOST is projected to generate approximately $15 million over five years and the money would be split between the county and the cities of Cairo and Whigham.
The only race on the City of Cairo’s special election ballot is for mayor. That race features Emory Thomas Sr., and Howard Thrower III. The winner will fill the unexpired term of former mayor Booker Gainor who vacated his office to seek election to the Georgia House of Representatives.