Election officials expect a low turnout when voters return to the polls Tuesday to settle the runoff for the Columbia County school board chairman, the vacant Augusta district judgeship and a Public Service Commission seat.
Without a major state or federal office in the runoff, Columbia County Board of Elections Director Deborah Marshall said turnout should be much less than the nearly 51 percent of eligible voters who showed for the Nov. 7 general election.
She predicts the turnout to be around 15 to 20 percent of registered voters.
As of Wednesday, 239 voters had cast absentee ballots at Marshall's office, and about 1,000 absentee ballot requests had been filed, according to Board of Elections figures.
In the first three days of advance voting, which began Monday and ended Friday, 767 ballots had been cast.
In the runoff, former school board member and former county Republican Party leader Lee Muns faces current school board District 1 representative Regina Buccafusco to determine who serves as the first countywide elected board chairman.
Muns finished first in the Nov. 7 general election with 36.6 percent of the votes but failed to get a majority of the total votes.
Buccafusco placed ahead of Lawrence Hammond to force the runoff.
In the race to replace retiring Augusta Judicial Circuit Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr., voters in Columbia, Richmond and Burke counties will choose between David Roper and William "Bill" Williams.
Roper led Williams and candidates Charles "Les" Wilkinson and Willie Saunders in a tight general election battle.
All four candidates were within 13 percentage points of one another, with Roper receiving 32.3 percent of the vote, while 25.5 percent of voters chose Williams.
In the only state race to require a runoff, Democratic incumbent David Burgess squares off against Republican challenger Chuck Eaton for the Public Service Commission District 3 seat.
Neither candidate received a majority of votes cast in the election. Burgess got 48.8 percent of votes to Eaton's 46.3 percent.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.