News 12 at Six o'clock, July 13, 2007.
Columbia, CO., GA--It's the last day for advanced voting in the race for the late Congressman Charlie Norwood's seat.
The contest between Jim Whitehead and Paul Broun in the run-off will finally be resolved on Tuesday. Election officials say normally people aren't as interested in going to the polls when there's only one category on the ballot, but in this case, with the Tenth District Congressional seat in Georgia up for grabs it seems to be anything but for Columbia County.
Typically on the last day of advanced voting, the lines are longer but in Richmond County, Board of Elections Director, Lynne Bailey, "I'd call it exceptionally sluggish." She says the total of advanced voters heading to the polls this week will probably reach 500, "Ususally in run-offs it's light but it depends on the candidates and the time of the year," she said. But the primary reason why it's so slow in Richmond County is because only a portion of the county qualifies for the Tenth District race.
However in Columbia County, the elections office expects to see 500 voters come through these doors just for the day. "We've been busy and steady," said Dora Lea Nagles, the elections clerk. Chairman of the Board of Elections, Neal Johnson, says the turnout for the run-off was even better than in June. "This advanced voting brought out the true voters I'm afraid we're in for a terribly long day on tuesday," he said. Having only two Republican candidates to choose from on the ballot, the only confusion seems to be whether or not voters can still head to the polls if they didn't in the original election. "Whether or not you voted in June is irrelevant if you're eligible to vote then you're still able to do so," said Bailey.
In Richmond County the turnout is only expected to be about 11 to 14% and in Columbia County because they had such a high turnout this week they only expect another 7-8% on Tuesday.