Voters to decide Columbia County school board race Tuesday

Columbia County has 2 runoffs Tuesday

The hottest race on the ballot Tuesday might be the runoff between Republicans seeking the District 12 congressional seat, but Columbia County voters also have to settle a school board race.


About 1,000 voters took advantage of advance voting to cast ballots in the runoffs at the Board of Elections office, said Nancy Gay, the registration coordinator.

Predicting, however, how many voters show up Tuesday for the final day of voting 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 in the countywide congressional runoff, she said.

Voters 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 primary. 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 tricky because the county 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 nonpartisan ballot in the primary or did not vote at all but registered before the July 2 deadline.

During early voting, Gay said, “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 were unable to participate.”

Voters who chose a Democratic ballot in the primary are not eligible to vote in the Republican congressional runoff, but they and all voters can decide the nonpartisan school board race if they live in District 1.

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, polls will be open 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 – which 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 under the Maps Online feature, in the Congressional Districts layer for individual home addresses.


Voters who chose Republican ballots in the July 31 primary and who live in the 12th Congressional District can vote in the runoff between Lee Anderson and Rick Allen. Those voters who also live in Columbia County District 1 can vote in the school board runoff between David Dekle and Carolyn Chase.

Voters who chose nonpartisan ballots and who live in the correct districts can vote in both the Republican runoff and the nonpartisan school board race.

Voters who chose Democratic ballots in July 31 and who live in District 1 may vote only in the nonpartisan race.

Voters who live in the appropriate districts and who did not vote July 31 may vote in both races.

Source: Jarthurlynn Hosley, Columbia County Board of Elections