Troup County to only have five early voting days for run-off

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, November 15, 2022

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In Troup County, early voting for the upcoming runoff election will be held over only five days, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. Due to Thanksgiving and the following Friday being state holidays, there will also be no Saturday early voting for the runoff.

Senator Raphael Warnock (D) will face off against Republican challenger Herschel Walker on Dec. 6 for the final seat in the Senate. Warnock is no stranger to runoffs. He and Senator Jon Ossoff won their races after runoffs in 2020, giving democrats narrow control of the Senate.

The highly-contested race between Warnock and Walker ended in a near tie, with neither candidate receiving a majority of the votes. Winning candidates must receive at least 50% of the vote or a runoff is required under Georgia law.

LaGrange will also have one more race on the ballot. Leon Childs and Quay Boddie will face off for the District 2 city council seat vacated by the late LeGree McCamey.

Childs was the leading vote-getter in the Nov. 8 election, earning 897 votes (34%). Boddie finished second with 538 votes (21%).  Neither candidate received a majority of the votes, so they will join Warnock and Walker in the run-off on Dec 6.  Under Georgia’s new election law from 2021, the run-off will be held 28 days after the regular election, or Dec. 6 this year. The law is more vague as to when early voting begins, saying it should begin “as soon as possible,” but no later than one week before the runoff.

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday also complicates things. Georgia Elections Director Blake Evans announced over the weekend that early voting cannot occur on Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day) or Friday, Nov. 25 (Observance of State Holiday) due to the state holidays, nor can it be held on Saturday, Nov. 26 due to a prohibition on Saturday early voting following a state holiday on Thursday or Friday.

Early voting also cannot begin until state certification is completed, which the Secretary of State’s Office is currently targeting for Monday, Nov. 21. With certification taking so long, Election Supervisor Andy Harper said that Troup County wouldn’t have enough time to prepare voting machines to start advanced voting prior to the holiday. That only leaves five days open for early voting after the holiday weekend.

Time is also running out for absentee ballot requests. Harper said requests for absentee ballots must be received by Nov. 28. Completed ballots must be returned by Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. to be counted.