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Early Voting Light So Far in D-156 Runoff

Early voting in the runoff election for the District 156 House seat, which began June 28, continues through July 9. So far, advance voting has been extremely light. In Montgomery County, only 157 early votes have been cast and six absentee ballots mailed out, said Registrar Bobbie Carpenter Tuesday morning. “There is not a lot of interest,” Carpenter said. The county has over 5,000 registered voters.

In Toombs County, only 36 absentee ballots had been mailed out and 404 advance votes cast as of July 2, according to the Toombs County Board of Elections website. July 2 was the last date for which voting results were available ahead of The Advance deadline for this week’s edition. The county has over 17,484 registered voters, 16,558 of which are currently active in the Toombs County Board of Elections system.

A change in the election law effective July 1 eliminated Saturday voting which was originally scheduled for July 3, and no voting took place, on Monday, July 5, because of the July Fourth holiday. After the holiday obser- continued from page

vance, voters had four days to cast early ballots ahead of the July 13 runoff election. Early voting will be held 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. only at county board of election offices, but voters will cast ballots at their designated precincts on Election Day.

In the runoff election on June 15, voting was light across District 156, resulting in a razor-thin margin between Republican candidates Leesa Hogan of Toombs County and Wally Sapp of Appling County. Hagan, an online consulting firm owner, and Sapp, a car dealer, came within 1 percentage point of each other, but neither received a majority of the nearly 5,000 votes cast to avoid a runoff. Hagan received 43% of the vote while Sapp garnered 42% of the balloting.

The lone Democrat in the race, Wright Gres of Appling County, finished third in the race with 15% of the total vote across the District. In addition to Toombs and Appling count ies, the District also includes Montgomery and Jeff Davis counties.

The light turnout for the June 15 Election left local officials worried about the outcome of the runoff election. While it is the largest county in the District, Toombs County lagged far behind other parts of the District for voter turnout.

“As the largest county in the District, we should have a say about who our state representative is going to be. We lose our voice if we don’t vote,” said Toombs County Commissioner Wendell Dixon.

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