A new year will have barely started when residents of Senate District 30 get their first opportunity to head to the polls to help pick their next state senator.
The district’s next senator will be either Libertarian James Camp or Republican Mike Dugan, the latter of whom won a Dec. 4 runoff to be named the GOP candidate. The special election between the two is set for Tuesday, Jan. 8, but voters will be able to cast early votes in person six days earlier.
Related news: Meet Your Candidates: Senate District 30
Early voting, typically held the week before the election day, will only be offered Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 2-4, due to government offices being closed for New Year’s. Early voting for affected Paulding voters will only be offered at the Paulding County Elections Office.
The four Paulding polling places in District 30—the Taylor Farm Park, Nebo Elementary, Austin Middle and Carl Scoggins Middle precincts—will open the doors to their voters from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 8.
Paulding County Elections Office Supervisor Deidre Holden says she expects a low turnout in next month’s special election. Last week’s runoff saw only 2.6 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.
“I expect a low turnout for this election, too. You can see that there were 21,143 people eligible to vote and 544 people voted and picked a state representative candidate. That’s what’s so sad in all of it,” Holden said.
Of Paulding’s 544 ballots, 315 were cast on the day of the runoff election. Seventy-eight people voted early in person, and there were 151 absentee-by-mail votes.
More than 65 percent of Paulding voters in the runoff favored Bill Hembree, who resigned from his reelection bid in House District 67 to pursue the Senate seat. Hembree took an even stronger share of the votes cast in Douglas County.
But Carroll County was the key in the race as most of the county is within the district. Dugan carried his home county, as 3,049 Carroll voters favored him compared to Hembree’s 977 there. Overall, Dugan had 3,606 ballots to Hembree’s 2,857.
Last week’s runoff was the result of the two men earning the most votes in a four-man special election held Nov. 6; also vying for the GOP nomination were Glenn Richardson and Jim Naughton.
Return to Dallas-Hiram Patch for further election coverage.
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