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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 9:24am

Runoff Stresses Cash-Strapped Counties

Counties in north Georgia’s Ninth Congressional district are gearing-up to open their polls for a fourth straight month. And the August Republican runoff will further strain tight county budgets.

In March, Nathan Deal resigned his congressional seat to run for governor. A special election was held in May, followed by a June runoff that installed Tom Graves to fill the current term.

And Tuesday’s general primary will be followed by another runoff between Graves and challenger Lee Hawkins in three weeks, along with other races to be decided.

The rapid fire elections are forcing counties in the north Georgia district to cut budget corners given the extra expenses of the May and June special elections.

Forsyth County elections supervisor Barbara Luth says they’ve had to be creative.

“We have county employees volunteering to help us to get ready for these elections. We’ve cut-down the number of people we put at the polls, which is helping. And we’ll hopefully be able to carry these things through the end of the year so we’re on budget.”

Luth says the runoff elections cost up to $50,000 to put on in Forsyth County.

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