Election Day Today

Voters in Stephens County and across America are headed to the polls today for Election Day.

Stephens County Registrar Theresa Kelley said that the county’s eight voting precincts will open this morning and remain open all day long.

“Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and you are going to have to go to your normal voting precinct for Election Day,” said Kelley. “Early voting was at the Government Building. That ended on Friday. Everyone has to go to their regular polling places.”

According to Kelley, she is projecting a total turnout of 75 percent, noting that would be about the same turnout that Stephens County saw in the 2008 presidential election.

Kelley said that comes after a busy early voting period in Stephens County.

“We voted over 5100 people,” said Kelley. “We are at 40 percent (turnout) as of now with absentee ballots.”

Mail-in paper absentee ballots must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by 7 p.m. today.

Besides the presidential election, voters in Stephens County are casting ballots in two area races of note. One of those is the 9th Congressional District race between Doug Collins and Jody Cooley. The other is the race for District 3, Post 2 on the Stephens County Board of Education between Curtis Waters and Jim Ledford. In addition, there are two state constitutional amendment questions on the ballot.

Kelley said sample ballots are available in her office and so are explanations from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office on the two constitutional amendments.

The Registrar’s Office is located in the Stephens County Government Building in downtown Toccoa. People can call the office at 706-886-8954.

More information can also be found online at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office website at www.sos.ga.gov.

AM 630 WNEG and wnegradio.com will provide live election updates from the Stephens County Government Building in downtown Toccoa, along with national election coverage from CBS News, beginning at 7 p.m. tonight.

Meanwhile, Franklin County voters are also headed to the polls today.

Besides the presidential election and the 9th Congressional District race, voters in Franklin County are casting ballots for two other contested races.

One is the race for Franklin County Sheriff, where incumbent Republican Sheriff Stevie Thomas is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Ronald Hart.

The other race involving Franklin County is the one for the 32nd State House District representing Franklin and Hart counties. That race pits incumbent Republican State Representative Alan Powell against Democratic challenger Mary Beth Focer.

Franklin County Elections Superintendent Tess Eubanks reported that over 2,000 registered voters in Franklin County decided to cast an early ballot, while more than 330 returned paper absentee ballots.

(MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia contributed to this report)