Voting 'smooth' in today's runoff

George Marshall, of Appling, votes in the run-off election Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, at Kiokee Baptist Church in Appling.

Runoff voting is smooth so far in Richmond and Columbia counties.


Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey said voting has been steady but not overwhelming in Richmond County.

There were no problems reported, she said. All precincts opened on time, and all equipment is working properly.

“The biggest impact the weather would have had would have been on voter turnout, but that doesn’t seem to have been a problem this morning, either,” she said.

She is predicting a 20 to 30 percent voter turnout by the end of the day.

In Columbia County, turnout generally has been light with some confusion over exactly who can vote, and where.

Voters who live in the appropriate districts can choose between Congressional District 12 Republican candidates Rick Allen and Lee Anderson, and School Board District 1 candidates Carolyn Chase and David Dekle.

Because of the county’s split during reapportionment between the 10th and 12th congressional districts, some voters might be uncertain about their district. Prior to this year, all of Columbia County was part of the 10th District; with redistricting, most of the county’s 46 voting precincts are now in the 12th District.

“We do have six precincts that are not open today due to their voters residing in the 10th Congressional District,” said Columbia County Board of Elections Registration Coordinator Nancy Gay.

Those precincts are Grace Baptist Church, Bessie Thomas Community Center, Eubank Blanchard Community Center, George W. Jones Community Center, Damascus Baptist Church and Greenbrier High School, Gay said.

“They are and will continue to be voting precincts in future elections,” she said.

In addition, three of the county’s precincts – Kiokee Baptist Church, Harlem Middle School and Harlem Baptist Church – are split between the 10th and 12th Districts. The precincts are open, but 10th District voters won’t have a ballot available.

Gay said she’s “hopeful” of getting 20 to 25 percent turnout.