Early voting in county commission runoff election begins

Early voting starts today at 8 a.m. for the Habersham County Commission runoff election. Ty Akins and Jason Hogan are facing off at the polls after the November 2 election in a 4-person race where no one took more than 50% of the vote.

Akins received 48% of the vote to Hogan’s 24%. They were the top two vote-getters among the candidates which also included Mike Adams and Locke Arnold.

The winner of the runoff will join the Habersham County Commission as the District 5 commissioner, succeeding Tim Stamey who resigned from the commission earlier this year for health reasons.

Habersham County voters who registered by October 4 of this year can vote in the runoff, regardless of if they voted in the special election or not.

Early voting will take place November 17-19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday voting will occur on November 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and advance voting will begin Monday, November 22 and go through November 24 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All early and advance voting will take place in the Ruby Fullbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville.

On election day, voters may report to their usual voting precincts to cast their ballots in the runoff, including the South Precinct which is still temporarily housed in the Cornelia Community Center on Wyly Street.

Mail-in absentee ballots are now available, but due to Georgia’s new voting laws, they may only be requested up until 11 days prior to an election. The deadline to apply for a runoff absentee ballot is 5 p.m. Friday, November 19.

Voters may request an absentee ballot through the Habersham County Elections Office by calling 706-839-0170 or by visiting the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page. Online applications may be returned by mail, fax, email, or in person at the elections office.

Those 65 or older or disabled who voted absentee in the November 2 special election will automatically receive a runoff ballot, according to Habersham County Election Supervisor Laurel Ellison. Anyone else who voted absentee will have to request a runoff mail-in ballot if they plan to vote absentee again.

The deadline for returning absentee ballots is 7 p.m. on election night, November 30.

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