What's Next in Mayoral Runoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/05/03

What's Next in Mayoral Runoff

The Savannah runoff election will be held in three weeks, on November 25. Voters will get settle the races for mayor (Pete Liakakis and Otis Johnson), alderman-at-large post 2 (Jeff Felser and Anne Mueller), and alderman for District 4 (Kenneth Sadler and David Saussy).

There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of questions to be answered before then. A lot of people want to know if they didn't vote yesterday, can they vote in the runoff?

The answer is yes, and if history repeats itself, the voter turnout in the runoff will be higher than you might expect. Last night, about 44 percent of registered voters took part in the election, but the number of people who show up for the runoff could be more. Take the last contested Savannah mayoral race in 1995 as an example. "Last contested race, 48 percent of voters came out and 53 percent in the runoff," said Gail Whitehead with the Chatham County Board of Elections.

Even if you are going out of town for Thanksgiving you can fill out an absentee ballot, or even go to the Board of Elections up to a week before to cast your vote like normal. "When you come in and vote, it's absentee, but on a touch screen like at the polling place," said Whitehead.

The elections will be run just the same. Candidates will campaign, the polls will be open from 7am to 7pm, and you will vote for two or three candidates depending on where you live. The one difference, the board of elections only has three weeks to prepare, where it usually has eight weeks.

And that's a lot of work. "We have to relogic the accuracy test, test all the machines, send them to the poll places, reprogram the encoders," explained Whitehead.

One thing the board wants to remind you is to check your voting card to make sure you know where to vote. If you are confused give the board a call at 652-7494.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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