Democrat Martin takes Morgan County
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Democratic candidate Jim Martin bested opponent Vernon Jones in Morgan County’s state run-off Tuesday. Martin showed a significant lead state-wide at press time Tuesday night; the winner will face Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss for United States Senator from the state of Georgia in a national General Election on November 4.
Only 4.36 percent of Morgan County’s 11,000 registered voters participated in the election, down from the nearly 19 percent that voted in the July 15 primary. In fact, said poll workers, although the voting centers were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as is standard in any state election, West Morgan precinct did not see its first voter until after 9 a.m.
The number of eligible voters for this particular run-off election was something less than the number of registered voters. Any person who voted on a Republican ballot in the July 15 primary was not eligible to vote in this Democratic run-off; registered voters who did not vote in the July primary and anyone who voted on a Democratic ballot in July could have voted Tuesday. Only 9,342 registered voters were eligible to go to the polls, raising the voter turnout to a whopping 5.1 percent.
Morgan County continued to post real-time results of the election on the Georgia Secretary of State’s Web site, a process first tried out during the July primary. By 7:55 p.m. Tuesday night, ten of Morgan County’s 12 precincts had been posted online.
Morgan County has ten polling stations, and two additional “precincts” which are the provisional ballots and the absentee/advance voting ballots.
In this election, there were no provisional ballots, ballots cast by persons who show up to vote without appropriate identification. These people are allowed to cast a vote, but the vote is set aside to be verified by election staff as being cast by a registered voter.
The only votes not yet counted as of press time Tuesday were those cast by those in the military living out of the country, or UOCVA voters-- “Uniformed Overseas Citizens Voter Act.”
These voters have until mail delivery at the registrar’s office on Friday, August 8, to get their vote turned in and counted in this run-off election.