Polls open at 7 a.m. for Ga. Primary Runoff Election

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:00 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:42 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Polls open up for the Georgia Primary Runoff Election at 7 a.m.

Everybody in Chatham County will have at least one non-partisan race on the ballot for the Chief Recorder’s Court Judge – but in the 5th district they will also decide their new school board representative.

They are expecting a larger turnout in that district because of the race.

Even though all polling locations will be open, staffing them will be a challenge. Billy Wooten, the Director of Elections in Chatham County, says he has never seen this large of a turnover for poll workers and managers.

They are moving a lot of workers around because people are on vacation and are out sick with COVID.

Typically they would have more than 800 poll workers but today they will be closer to around 600 workers which they say is about as low as they can go – even some elections employees will likely have to fill in to make it happen.

“Summer is just a difficult time to put on an election, in a large county like ours where we have 90 plus polls that is a lot of moving parts and a lot of people,” Wooten said.

Voters will only notice a few small changes though. Look for signs at changes at Compassion Church and Georgia Tech polling locations. JEA polling location will temporarily be at Jacob G. Smith Elementary School. Ferguson Avenue Baptist Church will temporarily vote at Montgomery Athletic Association.

Turnout today will likely not be very high. During the four days of early voting in Chatham County, there were just over 2,400 early voters – about 90 percent of those were democratic ballots. The Board of Registrars expected that to be the case since the democrats have several races to decide, whereas for the republicans, there are only non-partisan races on this runoff ballot.

The democrat ballots in Chatham County will also have races for Lieutenant Governor, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of State and the first district seat for the U.S. House.

Remember, a runoff happens when none of the candidates get more than 50 percent of the votes so the top two candidates move on and are on the ballot today. Keep in mind this is still a primary runoff, which means you still have to choose a party to vote in.

“It varies but the runoffs are always small, the ballots are short and easy to understand, there are no questions or amendments of any kind,” Wooten said.

If you want to vote in the election today and need a ride to your polling place in Chatham County, there are several organizations to help you out. You can call the NAACP - Savannah Branch at 912.233.4161, the League of Women Voters Coastal Georgia at 912.349.9875, or the New Georgia Project at 800.874.1541.

If you need to find your polling location or look up a sample ballot, just head to the WTOC Elections Center. Then don’t forget to grab your ID – polls are open at 7 this morning.

Other races on the runoff ballot today in our viewing area include:

  • Appling County Commissioner District 1 – Republican
  • Appling County Board of Education District 1
  • McIntosh County Commissioner District 5 – Republican
  • Wayne County Commissioner District 1 – Republican

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