Early voting runs both hot and cold in counties

By Ed Brock

Things were downright quiet in the Jonesboro offices of the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration Friday afternoon.

That was just fine with John and Rosalind Webb of Stockbridge who were bringing Rosalind Webb's parents Jewell and Robert Andrews of Ellenwood in to vote early.

"You can get in and get out quickly," said John Webb.

By Friday 588 absentee and advance ballots had been cast in Clayton County for Tuesday's runoff election. Advanced voting began on Monday.

"It hasn't been that many," said the board's director Annie Bright. "People have commented about how different this is and how quick it is because there's so much less on the ballot."

There was a little more action at the polls in Henry County.

"As of (Thursday) we've done over a 1,000," said Director of Elections Jane Shellnutt, adding that she expected that total to go up to 1,300 by end of business Friday. "Which isn't bad for a runoff."

Some of the elections there have been hotly contested, Shellnutt said, especially between Republican candidates for Chairman of the County Commission Jason Harper and Herman E. Talmadge.

Other races on the Henry County ballot include Melody Mena and Elizabeth B.J. Mathis for Commission District 2 and Randy Stamey and Charles Mobley for Commission District 3, both of which involve Republican candidates.

Locally in Clayton County Board of Education Chairwoman Nedra Ware will face Lois Baines Hunter on Tuesday and incumbent Barbara Wells will face Wendell Rod Johnson for School Board District 5. Running for the School Board District 7 are David Ashe and Carol Kellam.

Running for District 3 of the Clayton County Commission are Wole Ralph and Charles Davis. Roberta Abdul Salaam and George Jeburk will face off for Georgia House of Representatives District 74.

People voting in advance this past week did not have to give a reason for voting early, but that period ended Friday. On Monday absentee ballots will still be accepted.

Robert Andrews said he liked the advanced voting because it allowed him to avoid the crowds. He voted early during the July primaries as well and the second time was even easier.

"The more you do a thing the better off you are," Andrews said. "You learn from the last time."

Polls on Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.