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Nearly a third of local voters cast ballots

Nearly a third of local voters cast their ballots in the runoff election to determine the state’s new secretary of state and public service commissioner. Statewide, Republican Brad Ratffensperger got 52% of votes to become the new Secretary of State over Democrat John Barrow. Republican Chuck Eaton received 52% of votes as well to become Public Service Commissioner over Democrat Lindy Miller. In Pike County, 3,486 voters cast ballots out of 12,212 registered voters for a turnout of 28.55%. In Pike County, Ratffensperger got 86% of the votes and Eaton got 84% of the votes. Many Pike County citizens took advantage of advance voting in the Dec. 4 runoff election with 1,046 casting their ballots early last week. ’For a runoff, turnout was very good,” said chief registrar Lynn Vickers. Nearly 12.2% of active voters cast early ballots in the runoff to help determine whether Republican Brad Raffensperger or Democrat John Barrow is the new secretary of state and whether Republican Chuck Eaton or Democrat Lindy Miller will be the state’s new Public Service Commissioner. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten recently signed a voluntary Consent Order to enjoin enforcement of O.C.G.A. 21-2-409(b)(2) in future elections, primaries, or run-offs in Georgia, regardless of whether a federal candidate is on the ballot. Guidance and direction has been issued to all county election superintendents. ’In all future elections, primaries and run-off elections, which included the Dec. 4 run-off, all voters who require assistance to vote due to blindness, disability or inability to read or write may receive assistance by a person of the voter’s choice except for the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. This rule applies regardless of whether there is a federal candidate on the ballot in Georgia,’ said Secretary of State Robyn A. Crittenden. ‘Ultimately, both sides were able to reach a satisfactory conclusion in this litigation, and we have taken immediate action to comply with the negotiated terms of the Consent Order.’

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