Holden: August Runoff Likely
Even after the smoke clears from today’s primary elections, Paulding County voters may have to return to the polls in three weeks.
Deidre Holden says that when the polls for today’s primary election close at 7 p.m., it’s possible that more than half of Paulding County’s 84,000-odd registered voters will have cast ballots.
But Holden, supervisor of Paulding County Elections & Voter Registration,
could be overseeing a runoff election next month if some of those voters can’t reach a consensus in a handful of races.
Most races today are two-person affairs and will be decided easily—the candidate with the most votes will be declared the winner. Other offices are being sought by only one candidate—many of whom are incumbents. But finding a winner in races with more than two candidates is trickier, as the frontrunner must earn at least one vote more than half the total votes cast to avoid a runoff.
Voters will have from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to visit their regular polling places to cast their ballots in today’s primary elections. Those who do not know their polling location can visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s Voter Information page to find that information.
“I’d most definitely say we’ll have a runoff—normally, that’s what happens when you have three candidates on the ballot,” Holden said, adding that such a runoff would most likely be countywide.
Four races in today’s election—all of which are part of the Republican primary—feature three or more candidates. The most competitive race is that for Paulding’s chief magistrate, as incumbent Martin Valbuena faces three challengers: Dan Collins, Brian Hardison and Fred Henderson. (See videos of the four candidates at this link and this link.)
The other three races each have three candidates vying for their respective office. They are:
- State Senate, District 31 — Bill Carruth, Bill Heath (I), J.K. Rogers.
- State Representative, District 19 — Paulette Rakestraw Braddock (I), Michael Ray James, Melissa Morrison. (See our video interviews with the candidates at this link.)
- State Representative, District 66 — Michael “Mike” Miller, Bob Snelling, Mickey Thompson. (See video of the candidates at this link and this link.)
Should any of the four competitive races result in a runoff, some or all of Paulding County’s voters could be invited back to the polls next month. The runoff election would be held Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the polling precincts affected by the races involved in the runoff; early and advance voting for those races would occur Aug. 13-17 at the county election office.
Voters who return for any runoff election will have to vote the same party they chose for today’s election. Only those who cast nonpartisan ballots in the initial election will be able to choose a party ballot in the runoff.
But few local voters will be likely to be stuck with Democratic ballots in a potential runoff, as the number of those asking for such ballots is expected to be low—the party’s primary features no competitive races and only a few candidates automatically moving on to November’s general election.
Return to Dallas-Hiram Patch tonight for up-to-the-minute coverage of election results.
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