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Special election draws little interest

By Alan Mauldin

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    ALBANY, Georgia (Albany Herald) — After an underwhelming turnout during early voting in a special election to fill a vacant Dougherty County School Board seat, only one day remains for voters to cast ballots.

Six candidates are vying to fill the unexpired term of Milton “June Bug” Griffin, who died in February.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday at the six precincts for the District 5 special election.

The candidates who qualified are Gary Ball Sr., Kenneth Florence, Norma Kay Gaines-Heath, Julian Hall, Alma G. Noble and Debra Trice Wiley. The term ends in December 2022.

Through Wednesday, 206 voters had cast ballots in the race over the first 12 days of the early voting period, Dougherty County Election Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said.

Nickerson predicted that there would be no long lines for voters on Tuesday.

There are about 10,500 registered voters in the district.

“It should flow pretty smoothly,” Nickerson said. “We just want all our voters that are eligible to vote in the election. Those (school board members) are people you can pick up the phone and call or have a meeting with.”

The precincts open on Tuesday are Precinct 10, located at Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Precinct 11 at Alice Coachman Elementary School; Precinct 12 at the former Carver Teen Center, which was renamed the Driscoll Sports Park; Precinct 18 at Morningside Elementary School; Precinct 19 at Radium Springs Middle School, and Precinct 26 at Lamar Reese Elementary School.

“With only six precincts we’ve been able to staff these precincts,” Nickerson said. “The process is pretty swift when you only have one issue on the ballot.”

With six candidates, she said, there is a possibility of a runoff election, which would be held in July if necessary.

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