Despite the fact that there are no local seats to be decided in the July 24 runoff elections, Douglas County Elections Supervisor Milton Kidd said local advance voting has been "healthier than expected."

He said advanced voting, which began July 2 at the Douglas County Courthouse, had brought in 552 voters through earlier this week, despite the fact that only Republican and Democratic statewide races are being decided.

On the Republican ticket, the race for governor between current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is the big draw, with the runoff winner moving on to face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.

Also in the runoff election are two Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan and David Shafter, and for secretary of state David Belle Isle and Brad Raffensperger.

On the Democratic ballot, two candidates — Sid Chapman and Otha E. Thornton Jr. — are vying for their party's nomination for State School Superintendent. The winner of the run-off will face Republican incumbent Richard Woods in November.

Adanced voting continues at the Douglas County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday with additional locations starting July 16-20 at:

• Old Courthouse: 6754 Church St.

• Deer Lick Park: 2105 Mack Rd.

• Boundary Waters Aquatic Center: 5000 Highway 92

• Dog River Library: 6100 Highway 5

There will not be any Saturday voting for the runoff, which takes place at all polling locations from 7 am. to 7 p.m. July 24, said Kidd.

In addition to all of the state and county races coming up Nov. 6, both the city of Douglasville and Douglas County have passed resolutions to let voters decide if they would support increasing Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants to begin an at 11 a.m. — an hour and one-half earlier — in what has been deemed "the Brunch Bill."

Kidd said the city of Douglasville and city of Villa Rica are considering placing creation of a Tax Allocation District (TAD) on the ballots in their respective cities in November. A TAD is a defined area where real estate property tax monies gathered above a certain threshold for a certain period of time to be used a specified improvement.

Milton said he wants to increase voter engagement and enhance voter outreach as a major initiative for the elections and voter registration office.

"We want to have a more visible presence in Douglas County," he said, "and to play up the important role this office makes. Our goal is to get as close to 100 percent of all eligible voters registered."

Kidd said he also wants to gauge voter satisfaction of their voting experience and poll location in order to make improvements and changes as necessary.

"We are accountable to the citizens of Douglas County," he said.

He also wants to provide seminars for citizens and potential candidates for office to better educate the community, Kidd said.

The first such seminar is being offered on Friday.

State of Georgia Ethics Department, in conjunction with the Douglas County Board of Elections and Registration, will be holding an Ethics Filing Seminar at the Douglas County Courthouse Citizen’s Hall, 8700 Hospital Dr., on Friday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This seminar is open to potential candidates, candidates currently running for office, or to anyone holding an elective office, said Kidd.

This seminar will discuss all filings such as Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaigning Contributions, Personal Financial Disclosure, and Affidavit of Candidate’s Intent not to exceed $2,500 in contributions and/or expenditures. It will also discuss due dates and late fees charged when not filing on time.

For more information, contact Kidd at 770-920-7213 or email bdofelections@co.douglas.ga.us.

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