FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County election officials were impressed with the more than 20 percent voter participation in the most recent May 20 primary election.
“We had better than 20 percent, which is really good, and the poll workers had a really good day,” said Barbara Luth, Forsyth County supervisor of voter registration and elections.
“We have one of the highest percentage turnouts in the state,” Luth said.
There were 22,606, out of 105,033 active registered voters, or 21.5 percent turnout.
There were no problems reported with electronic voting machines at all, Luth said.
“We had more voters come vote earlier this time than the presidential preference primary in 2012,” Luth said. “We were over 6,000 who voted early.”
This was also the first time some voters had to go to a different polling location.
In November, the Board of Voter Registration and Elections voted to implement precinct and polling location changes affecting the majority of voters in Forsyth County.
“We had a few people who were confused, but we placed QR codes out there and telephone numbers for us to call us and a lot of people did to find out exactly where they were supposed to go,” Luth said. “We will continue to post at those schools that we used before.”
Luth said that more than 120,000 precinct cards were sent out and some of them came back because people have moved, and this helped clean up the voter rolls.
JULY 22 RUNOFF ELECTION
While many races were decided during the primary election, there were three local races – two state legislature races and the solicitor general race – that will be decided in a runoff on July 22.
A runoff occurs when no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
State Sen. Jack Murphy, who received 6,975 votes, or 37 percent, will face Michael Williams, who got 6,400 votes, or 34 percent of the votes.
In the small district that covers west Forsyth, District 22 State House Rep. Sam Moore received 687 votes or 43 percent and will face challenger Wesley E. “Wes” Cantrell, who got 570 votes or 36 percent.
Solicitor General Donna Gopaul received 7,530 votes or 41 percent and will face off against Bill Finch, who got 5,757 votes, or 31 percent.
In addition, a statewide runoff to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss will be between U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue. The winner will face off against Democrat Michelle Nunn in November.
Roswell resident Karen Handel received the most votes in Forsyth County — 34 percent — and 22 percent statewide.
In the state school superintendent race, Republican candidates Mike Buck and Richard Wood will face off July 22. Gainesville resident Ashley Bell was Forsyth County’s top vote-getter with 20 percent.
Democratic state school superintendent candidates in the runoff will be Alisha T. Morgan and Valarie Wilson.
In the Republican governor’s race, Gov. Nathan Deal beat State School Superintendent John Barge and David Pennington III. Deal received 74 percent of the vote in Forsyth and 72 percent of the vote statewide. In November, Deal will face off against Democratic candidate Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.
District 9 U.S. Rep. Doug Collins will face off against Democrat David Vogel in November.
Early voting for the July 22 runoff election starts in person on June 30 and will run for three weeks, including Saturday July 12. There won’t be any voting on July 4.
“It will give voters who didn’t get out the first time, maybe they will come out for the second,” Luth said.
Incumbents who were re-elected May 20 include: Forsyth County District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent; Forsyth County Board of Education District 1 member Ann Crow; District 24 Rep. Mark Hamilton and District 26 Rep. Geoff Duncan.
Also overwhelmingly approved by voters — 63 percent — was a $195 million school bond referendum.
In addition to the July 22 runoff, voters will return to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4, for the general election.
For more election information, visit www.forsythco.com.
HOW FORSYTH COUNTY VOTED:
District 27 State Senate
* Jack S. Murphy — 6,975 votes, 37.45 percent
* Michael E. Williams — 6,400 votes, 34.36 percent
* Lauren W. McDonald III — 5,250 votes, 28.19 percent
District 26 State House
* Geoff Duncan — 3,610 votes, 60.84 percent
* Tom Knox — 2,324 votes, 39.16 percent
District 24 State House
* Mark D. Hamilton — 3,749 votes, 58.82 percent
* Sheri D. Gilligan — 2,625 votes, 41.18 percent
District 22 State House
* Sam Moore — 687 votes, 43.23 percent
* Wesley E. “Wes” Cantrell — 570 votes, 35.87 percent
* Meagan C. Biello — 332 votes, 20.89 percent
Forsyth County Solicitor General
* Donna Gopaul — 7,530 votes, 41.10 percent
* Bill Finch — 5,757 votes, 31.43 percent
* Susan Zereini — 5,032 votes, 27.47 percent
District 3 Forsyth County Commission
* Todd Levent — 2,589 votes, 64.20 percent
* David Hole — 1,444 votes, 35.71 percent
District 1 Forsyth County Board of Education
* Ann Crow — 2,004 votes, 55.74 percent
* Amanda Nixon — 801 votes, 22.28 percent
* Mark Weiss — 790 votes, 21.97 percent
Forsyth County Schools bond referendum
* Yes — 13,632 votes, 63.61 percent
* No — 7,800 votes, 36.39 percent