On the last day of early voting on Friday an impressive 300 voters filed into the Cherokee County Board of Elections and Voter Registration headquarters in downtown Canton, bringing the total of early voters to 1,171, said Elections Supervisor Janet Munda.
“We still expect voting on Tuesday to be light,” Munda said Friday. “Right now 2 percent of the eligible voters in this race has voted.”
Voters within the following precincts may be eligible to cast ballots:
Air Acres, Arnold Mill, Avery, Ball Ground, Bascomb, Booth, Bradshaw, Bridgemill, Conns Creek, Deer Run, Free Home, Hickory Flat, Hightower, Hillside, Holly Springs, Liberty, Little River, Macedonia, Mountain Road, Neese, Rosecreek, Sixes, Teasley, Toonigh, Union Hill, Univeter, Wildcat, Woodlands and Woodstock.
Not all voters within these precincts are eligible to vote in the special election, since some precincts include voters in multiple districts. Some voters are eligible to vote in both races, and some are eligible to vote in one race.
The seats up for grabs include the District 21 seat in the state Senate vacated last month by Chip Rogers and the District 21 position in the state House of Representatives vacated by Sean Jerguson to run for the Senate against Brandon Beach.
In Cherokee County, there are 30,000 registered voters eligible to cast a ballot in the House race and 70,000 eligible to vote in the Senate race, Munda said. The Senate seat also includes a portion of North Fulton.
Munda said there has been some confusion among voters about the election.
“We have a lot of voters who find out they are not eligible when they get to the polls, and we will have maps at the polling sites Tuesday so those coming in can look and make sure they are in the district,” she said.
Although schools will be in session Tuesday, voting will take place at several county schools, she said.
For the candidates, the countdown is on.
Scot Turner of Holly Springs, who ran against Jerguson in the July primary election, is confident he is on his way to either a win or a slot on a run-off ballot for the House District 21 seat.
Other candidates vying for the spot include Republicans Kenneth Mimbs and Brian Laurens and Democrat Natalie Bergeron.
“We’ve seen multiple polls come back showing us as leaders, second place is the Democrat, and I feel it is important that Republicans unite to elect a conservative,” Turner said.
When asked whether the campaigning in the race had turned negative in the final days, Turner said no.
“It has always been a goal to run a clean campaign, we did that in the summer, and we wanted to continue that,” Turner said. “We have seen some shenanigans, basic things that happen during a campaign, but we have tried to maintain our focus on the issues of ethics reform, term limits, and implementing a fair tax in Georgia — those are resonating with everyone we talk with.”
Bergeron said she is hearing a lot of support for her candidacy with feedback from voters that they chose her on the ballot.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the response, a lot of people say they like having an option, and we have received a lot of email support and words of encouragement,” Bergeron said. “We are well positioned to see good returns and hope to be in a runoff if there is not an outright win.”
Laurens said that the election is all going to be based on who turns out.
“These special elections are always unpredictable. We are confident to see what the results are going to be. We have knocked on doors and called 3,000 voters and we are excited that results are in our favor,” Laurens said.
Laurens said the economy and education are the top two issues.
“Some of the residue from last year about charter and public schools is still out there. But mainly it is about jobs and the economy and the out of control spending that our government is doing,” he said. “And Second Amendment is now on everyone’s list.”
All three said they were preparing for the push in the last 72 hours.
Kenneth Mimbs could not be reached by press time.
Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No voting will take place on Monday.
Voters must vote in their assigned precincts.
Voters should check their registration cards, call the county elections office at (770) 479-0407, or visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at mvp.sos.state.ga.us for information about voting eligibility.