2007-07-12 / Front Page

District 10 runoff election is Tuesday, early voting available through Friday

Early voting for Tuesday's runoff continues this week until Friday afternoon, and registered voters are reminded that even if they didn't vote in the special election last month, they may vote in the runoff.

The election, between Republicans Dr. Paul Broun Jr. of Athens and former state Sen. Jim Whitehead of Augusta, will fillthe U.S. District 10 Congressional District seat in Washington left empty by the death of Charlie Norwood in February.

Whitehead has received the endorsements of most of the top Republican leaders, including the Oconee Co. GOP in Broun's backyard. Broun has positioned himself as an outsider, saying that he wouldn't be a career politician like Whitehead.

In debates and speaking engagements across the district, the two candidates showed that they had much in common. Both have said illegal immigration was a major concern, and both said they would vote against the U.S. Senate bill that would give illegal immigrants the opportunity to become legal residents, calling it "amnesty."

Both Whitehead and Broun support eliminating the federal income tax in favor of a national sales tax.

And, although both candidates have criticized President Bush's handling of the Iraq war, Whitehead has been noted as saying that the war "was not a big issue" for voters in the district.

Despite Whitehead's Augusta roots, both candidates said they support expanding the Medical College of Georgia into Athens, rather than in Augusta.

With all the campaigning and debates, Whitehead is still the favorite, having taken 43.5 percent of the vote against Broun's 20.7 percent in the special election with 10 candidates.

Polls across Wilkes County will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the runoff election.

Chief Registrar Gladys Reese said that registered voters, even if they didn't vote in the special election last month, may vote in the runoff July 17.

Voters who voted absentee in the June Special Election would be automatically sent a ballot. Those who need to vote absentee for the runoff may request an absentee ballot.

Early voting will be held at the Wilkes County Courthouse this week prior to the July 17 runoff. Qualified voters have been voting early since 8 a.m. Monday morning, July 9, and may vote through 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, July 13, at the Voter Registration officeon the third floor of the Wilkes County Courthouse.

To vote on a paper ballot by mail, contact the registrar's officeby Friday, July 13, for an application.

For more information on voting, applications, advance voting, or the location of polling places, call Voter Registration at 706-678-1850 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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