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Election turnout exceeded expectations

Posted: March 11, 2012 - 12:07am

A higher-than-predicted number of Columbia County voters showed up at the polls Tuesday to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary.

Just more than 24 percent of the county’s voters cast ballots, nearly 10 percentage points more than Columbia County Board of Elections Director Deborah Marshall had predicted.

“I was very happy with the turnout,” Marshall said.

Marshall had expected just 15 percent turnout because the only contested race was on the Republican presidential ballot. Richmond County, which also had an education sales tax renewal and the Sunday package alcohol sales on its ballot, experienced lower turnout, with barely 20 percent of its voters participating.

Columbia County’s results for the Republican presidential primary mirrored those of the rest of Georgia, with Newt Gingrich gaining the most votes.

Gingrich took 41 percent of the vote in Columbia County, followed by Mitt Romney with 27 percent, Rick Santorum with 25 percent and Ron Paul with 6 percent.

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