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Hundreds cast early ballots in Forest Park

FOREST PARK —More than 400 voters have cast early or absentee ballots in the race for mayor and wards 1 and 2, said officials.

Elections Superintendent Charity Woods said she is encouraging the city’s estimated 8,000 registered voters to make their choices ahead of the Nov. 5 election to avoid expected long lines.

All voters can cast ballots in the mayor’s race. Candidates are Sparkle Adams, Mike Gippert and incumbent David Lockhart.

Registered voters in Ward 1 can choose among Kimberly James, Darnell Moorer and incumbent Tommy Smith.

Ward 2 voters will get a chance to fill the seat that has been vacant since July 2011 when former Councilwoman Karen-Brandee Williams was ousted for ethics violations. Those candidates are Dabouze Antione, Carl Evans, Luke Gawel and Deverick Williams. Sheena Lowe qualified to run in Ward 2 but Woods said she has dropped out of the race.

Absentee voting has been going on for more than a month but early voting started Oct. 14. Early ballots cannot be cast after Nov. 1.

Woods said more than 300 voters have cast early ballots since Oct. 14. Her office has gotten 112 absentee ballot requests since September, she said.

Because of the number of candidates, Woods expects a runoff election, which will be held Dec. 3. All votes are cast at Forest Park Parks and Recreation on Forest Parkway, next door to city hall and in front of Starr Park.

For elections information, contact Woods at 404-366-4720.