Early voting kicks off with high turnout
- Written by Kristen Kitchens
- Published in News
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County Elections Office officials reported over 750 early voters turned out to cast their vote, which shows a significant increase compared to the primary election in May.
Several key races are on the ballot, including a rematch between Governor Brian Kemp and Stacy Abrams and the seat for House of District 169, with Douglas native Mickeayla Brockington facing current District 155 representative Clay Pirkle.
For the second time, Kemp and Abrams are facing off against one another for the second time in the gubernatorial race, with polls indicating that Abrams is trailing slightly behind. In the 2018 election, Kemp defeated Abrams with 50.22% of the vote, with Abrams falling short at 48.83% and Libertarian candidate Ted Metz receiving less than 1% of the votes.
Kemp also won Coffee County in a landslide during the 2018 election, receiving over 70% of the vote.
Republican candidate for House of Representatives 169 Clay Pirkle is listed as an incumbent on the ballot, but currently holds the seat for House of Representatives District 155. However, Pirkle moved into district 169 following the state's new district maps being signed into law at the end of 2021. In March, Brockington announced her candidacy and qualified for the seat as a Democrat. During the primary election, Brockington and Pirkle faced no opposition during the primary.
Dominic LaRiccia has held the position since he was first elected in 2015 but chose not to run for reelection this term.
A small portion of Coffee County was shifted into District 176 during the redistricting, with Republican incumbent James Burchett holding on to his seat as he runs unopposed.
Coffee County's State Senate district underwent significant changes as a result of the redistricting process as well, as the county has spent the last ten years entirely inside District 7. Half of the county will be represented in District 13 at the start of 2023, with the other half moving to District 19.
In District 19, Republican incumbent Blake Tillery will be running against Democrat candidate and Atkinson County native Michael "Buckle" Moore, who has lived in Douglas since 1998. In the May primary, neither candidate faced opposition.
Incumbent Carden Summers (R) will enter another term as the representative for State Senate District 13 after running unopposed in the general election. In the primary, Summers won the majority vote against candidates Ed Perry and George Woods.
Tyler Harper, current State Senator for District 7 until his term ends and the new maps take effect, is on the ballot for the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture. He is facing Democrat candidate Nakita Hemingway.
Several other races are on the ballot, which can be viewed at mvp.sos.ga.gov.
An hour before the polls closed on Tuesday, Coffee County Elections Office Supervisor Rachel Roberts told Douglas Now that 352 voters took advantage of early voting on its first day, with over 400 ballots cast on Tuesday.
Early voting will continue through November 4 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will also be two Saturday voting opportunities, on October 22 and October 29, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Absentee/mail-in ballots by mail must be requested by October 28 by phone, online, or in person. The ballots must be returned either in person or by mail by November 8.
Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 8. For more information, contact the Coffee County Elections Office at (912) 384-7018.
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