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Younger voters boost rolls in Floyd, early voting starts today

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Floyd County's registered-voter population is getting younger, according to the latest report from the Georgia secretary of state's office.

There were 17,155 voters between the ages of 18 and 39 on the rolls as of June 1. That's equal to 33.8 percent of the total 50,770 voters of all ages.

In comparison, voters in the youngest demographic made up just 29 percent of the electorate for the March primaries going into the 2016 presidential election.

The percentage of local voters in the other age groups fell correspondingly, although the middle demographic still retains the highest overall number.

This year, the 21,372 registered voters between the ages of 40 and 54 make up 42.1 percent of the total, compared to 45 percent in 2016. And the 12,243 voters age 65 and older account for 24.1 percent of the electorate, down from 26 percent in 2016.

While there's no presidential election this year, a slate of state and local offices are on the ballot along with the 14th Congressional District seat representing Northwest Georgia. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 6, but several runoffs must be decided before the nominees are set.

Early voting for the July 24 runoffs starts today and runs through July 20.

Floyd County Elections Supervisor Willie Green said two universal polling precincts will be open for drop-in voters, Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

One precinct is at the Floyd County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. The other is at Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle.

All 25 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day.

Republicans will choose either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp as their nominee for the governor slot on the general election ballot. Gov. Nathan Deal is ineligible to run for another term.

Cagle won every precinct in Floyd during the May 22 primary and Kemp came in second — but neither man won more than 50 percent of the statewide vote to clinch the nomination outright.

Just over 20 percent of Floyd County's registered voters turned out to cast ballots.

Two other Republican contests remain to be decided.

Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming and state Sen. David Shafer of Duluth are vying for the lieutenant governor slot. Shafer beat Duncan in Floyd, 2 to 1. Statewide, he took 48.9 percent of the vote.

The Republican secretary of state nomination is down to David Belle Isle, the former mayor of Alpharetta, or state Rep. Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek. Raffensperger won 41.4 percent of the vote in Floyd County during the primary.

Democrats will choose their nominee for state school superintendent. The race is between Sid Chapman and Otha Thornton Jr.

Thornton is a retired U.S. Army officer and former president of the National PTA. Chapman, a former high school teacher, is president of the Georgia Association of Educators.

Chapman won 33.5 percent of Floyd's vote and Thornton took 31.22 percent. The county's favorite, Pastor Sam Mosteller, ran third statewide.

Voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary can't vote in the Republican runoff and those who voted on the Republican ballot in May can't choose the Democratic one now.

Those who didn't vote in May or just picked the nonpartisan ballot are eligible to vote in either runoff.