By Rachel Shirey
JONESBORO — The Clayton County voters will go to the polls Tuesday for a runoff election to complete a Clayton County school board currently facing an investigation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for board in-fighting and micromanagement.
District 2 incumbent Trinia Garrett will face Judy Johnson, and District 7 incumbent Wanda Smith will face Mark Christmas.
Garrett has been on the board since July 2008, and Smith since January 2009.
Christmas and Johnson both promise to have a positive impact on the county while fostering trust, respect and responsibility.
“Each board member must set aside their personal agenda and outside influence to foster good relations within the county,” Johnson said. “The school board is an open book and each resident of the county is seeing the negative influence attracting attention to Clayton County. I will work to bring civility to the board.”
According to state law, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast to win the election.
Currently, there are 18,600 registered voters in School Board District 2 and 13,775 in School Board District 7.
Early voting for the Dec. 4 election closed Friday, but the Elections and Registration Office has only received 9 in-person voters and 62 mailed absentee ballots.
“Observing the turn out for early voting, I do not anticipate a high volume of voters to turn out Tuesday,” said Elections Director Annie Bright.
Bright said it’s important for registered voters to cast their ballots and if people did not participate in the Nov. 6 election, they are still eligible to vote in the runoff.
People can cast their vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday.