Voters have many races to decide

CONYERS -- Rockdale County voters go to the polls today to decide three legislature races and several statewide offices in the runoff of last month's primary election.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tabulation of votes will begin after the polls close at the Board of Elections office, located at the county government Annex Building, 1400 Parker Road, Lobby C. The public is invited to observe the vote tabulation.

During the advance voting period last week, 1,182 voters cast a ballot in person at the Board of Elections offices. Republican ballots far outnumbered Democratic ballots cast during Advance voting 1,054 to 128.

There were 272 mailed-in ballots received by the end of business Friday with a similar breakdown of political parties -- 177 Republican mailed-in ballots versus 95 Democratic mailed-in ballots.

Overall, the Board of Elections received 1,454 ballots during advance or early voting, which amounted to 2.69 percent of registered Rockdale voters.

Local elections on the Rockdale ballot include two state House races on the Democratic ballot and a state Senate race on the Republican ballot.

Dar'shun Kendrick and Rhonda Peek, both of Lithonia, are running against each other for the Democratic runoff in the Georgia 94th House District race. In the 95th House District race, incumbent Rep. Toney Collins of Conyers is facing a runoff challenge from Pam Dickerson, also of Conyers.

The other legislature race in a runoff affecting Rockdale is in the Georgia 17th Senate District between Republicans Rick Jeffares of Locust Grove and Todd Hilton of Covington.

Several statewide races will also be on the runoff ballot. Republican voters will choose between former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former Rep. Nathan Deal for governor. Former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens and Preston W. Smith, a state senator from Rome, will meet to settle the Republican race for attorney general, while Ralph T. Hudgens and Maria Sheffield remain in the commissioner of insurance race.

Also on the Republican runoff ballot, John Douglas of Social Circle will run against Tim Echols in the race for the District 2 seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission. Douglas has represented Rockdale County in the Georgia Senate for six years in the 17th District. Echols is an executive of a nonprofit organization and lives in Winterville, near Athens.

There is just one statewide runoff election race on the Democratic ballot, for secretary of state between former state senator Gail Buckner and Georganna Sinkfield, a state representative from Atlanta.