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Friday, May 7, 2010 - 4:26am

Very Low Early Voting Turnout for 9th Congressional District Election

Early voter turnout for a special election to replace Congressman Nathan Deal is very low. County officials say the cost-per-vote could be high.

The 9th Congressional district spans more than 15 counties in northwest Georgia. It is very conservative and has six Republicans, one independent, and one Democrat on the ballot.

Despite tough anti-government rhetoric in the race, and influence from the tea party movement, few people have voted early.

Forsyth County elections supervisor Barbara Looth says she expects a very low voter turnout come Tuesday.

"It's gonna be way under five percent. We've only had 643 voters who have voted so far in our advance voting and early voting."

Looth says the special election is costing Forsyth County $50,000. And with so many candidates on the ballot the race could easily end-up in a runoff which could double the cost.

Meanwhile, a new program designed to speed-up the voting process will be tested in next week’s 9th district election.

Voters at a precinct in Bartow County may have the bar code of their driver’s license scanned by poll workers when they check-in.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp says this would do-away with the need of workers to have to look up voters on the rolls. State officials say the pilot program doesn’t need approval from the federal level.


Associated Press