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All set for voting today

By Bob Paslay

The weatherman is promising a beautiful day today to cast ballots, bright and sunny and highs close to 90 degrees. Coupled with strong interest in races, a good turnout is predicted in Clayton County.

Elections Director Annie Bright said there are just over 120,000 people registered to vote, and 1,866 have already cast ballots by absentee or early voting.

Another 255 absentee ballots were picked up and some or all of them could still come in today by mail. Bright said a run at the last minute is made to the post office to get the last of the absentee ballots.

"I think it will be a good turnout. The weather is supposed to be good," Bright said.

The elections director said everything is in place and everyone is ready for a smooth election. Machines have been delivered, poll workers know their assignments, all the poll material has been picked up.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. is allowed to vote, regardless of how long the process takes.

Bright said if someone is looking for the best time to try to slip into the polls and have a shorter wait, they may want to consider the middle of the day. A surge will occur early in the morning by those voting before work and again after 5 p.m. when people are getting off work.

Persons who are registered to vote but can't find their voter registration card can still vote with the proper identification. A driver's license is one of 17 forms accepted.

Besides party offices up for voting there are some non-partisan elections for judges.

If no candidate in a field of more than two doesn't get 50 percent of the vote plus one vote then there will be a runoff on Aug. 10.

Bright said state election officials haven't said, but she expects there will probably be early voting for the runoff.

All of the new voting machines have memory cards and the poll officials bring those to election central where the votes are counted. Bright said she doesn't know how long it will take to get all the votes counted.

A special vote on whether residents in Jonesboro want to approve liquor by the drink that would allow restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages will be counted separately by the city.