The hottest race on the ballot Tuesday might be the runoff between two Republicans seeking the District 12 congressional seat, but Columbia County voters also have to settle a school board race.
Just more than 1,506 voters took advantage of advance voting this past week to cast runoff ballots at the Board of Elections office, said Registration Coordinator Nancy Gay.
But predicting how many voters show up to vote Tuesday will be “tricky,” she said. Turnout for previous runoffs have ranged from a low of 4.19 percent to a high of 41.9 percent in 2007 for a countywide congressional runoff, she said.
Voters Tuesday who live in the 12th Congressional District will choose between Republicans Lee Anderson and Rick Allen, the men who took the top two spots in the July 31 election. Voters in Columbia County School Board District 1 will settle the runoff between Carolyn Chase and David Dekle.
Unlike advance voting, which took place at the Board of Elections office in Evans, voters will return to their assigned precincts for Tuesday’s race, Gay said.
Figuring out which voters are qualified to participate in the runoff can be complicated because the county now is split between two congressional districts. Only voters in the 12th District can vote Tuesday in that runoff, and then only if they chose a Republican or non-partisan ballot in the primary or did not vote at all.
“We have had a few (about 15) voters who either did not realize they were not in the 12th Congressional District, or who voted Democratic and are unable to participate,” Gay said of early voting.
Voters who chose a Democratic ballot in the primary aren’t eligible to vote in the Republican congressional runoff, but all voters can decide the non-partisan school board race if they live in District 1.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in 40 of the county’s 46 precincts, Gay said. Because of the potential for confusion about districts, especially in the Kiokee Baptist Church, Harlem Middle School and Harlem Baptist Church precincts that are split between the 12th and 10th congressional districts, voters are asked to call the Board of Elections office or go to the county’s Web site to confirm their district information.
The office can be reached at (706) 868-3355. Voting information is available at www.columbiacountyga.gov under the Maps Online feature, in the Congressional Districts layer for individual home addresses.