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With only a few days left to vote early in the Republican primary runoff for Grady County Sheriff, election officials report as of the close of business Tuesday, 672 in-person advance ballots have been cast.
In addition, Grady County chief registrar Malinda Butler reports that a total of 410 absentee ballot applications were received and processed. Of those 410, 164 absentee ballots have been completed and returned.
Early voting will wrap up at 4:30 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 7 and election day is next Tuesday, with the polls open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The only race on the runoff ballot is between incumbent Grady County Sheriff Harry Young and challenger Steve Clark, who are seeking the republican nomination for sheriff.
The winner will go on to face Donald (Dickie) Thomas, the democratic nominee for sheriff.
The final day that Butler will mail out an absentee ballot is Aug. 7. There will not be a day of Saturday voting.
Voters who have chosen to vote absentee can mail ballots back or use the convenient, secure drop box located behind the Grady County Courthouse, according to Butler.
Due to the lack of sufficient poll workers to man the county’s 13 polling places, election superintendent, Denise Maddox, earlier this year 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.
Sheriff Young, 76, first took office in 2005. In addition to his professional work, Young is active in civic activities. He’s a member of the Cairo Rotary Club, Whigham Community Club, American Legion Post 122 and Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of directors of the Grady County Children and Youth Council and has served on the board of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch. He says he’s active with Drug Free Grady and Grady County Family Connection.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Young says he attends Pine Park Baptist Church.
Steve Clark, up until two years ago, had worked for Sheriff Young, but he left and has taken a job with the Technical College System of Georgia. Most recently, Clark has served as the assistant police chief with Southern Regional Technical College.
The 1986 graduate of Cairo High School worked at the Grady County Sheriff’s Office from January 1999 until April 2018 when he was fired by Sheriff Young.
Clark told The Messenger earlier this year he worked five years on patrol, three years in investigations and 14 years as chief investigator and narcotics investigator for the Grady County Sheriff’s Office.
In the June 9 primary election, Sheriff Young garnered 49.5 percent of the vote in a four-man field. Young received 2,042 votes compared to 1,526 for Clark, 357 for Duke Donaldson and 197 for Jared Evans.