About 5,700 more voters in Catoosa County cast ballots in the Nov. 3 general election than they did in the general election four years.

This year the presidential contest was a big draw for voters in Catoosa, as it was for many voters across Georgia. But there were some other high-interest races, including the crowded race to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, and the U.S. Senate race between Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue and Libertarian Shane Hazel.

According to the county elections office, 32,725 (71.58%) of Catoosa’s 45,715 registered voters cast ballots. Of those 32,725 voters, 26,353 (80.5%) voted early — including 21,166 (64.7%) who voted in person and 5,187 (15.8%) who voted via mail-in absentee ballot — while 6,372 (19.5%) cast ballots on election day.

During the 2016 general election, 27,023 (78% of registered voters in Catoosa) cast ballots, including 17,161 (49%) of the county’s 34,831 registered voters who cast ballots early, either in person or via mail-in absentee.

Local contested race

In Catoosa County, the ballot had only one local contested race: incumbent Board of Commissioners chairman Steven Henry, a Republican, faced off against Democrat Ernie Pursley. Henry received 23,815 votes while Pursley’s received 7,035 votes.

There were several certified write-in candidates for Board of Commissioners races: Nick Ware for chairman in the race between Henry and Pursley; Greg Bentley for the District 1 seat against incumbent Republican Jeff Long; and Terry Crawford for the District 3 seat against Republican Vanita Hullander.

“I want to thank those who voted for me,” Hullander said after her win, “and the (campaign) team that worked so hard to help get the word out and supported me and kept the campaign motivated and propelled.”

Hullander said she appreciated that voters paid attention to her platform rather than opponent mail-out flyers and ads. “I think this proves … that this is not what Catoosa County is about. The citizens want to know what you are going to do for them.”

Long, who retained his seat on the County Commission, said in a Facebook post, “I want to thank all of my family, friends and citizens of Catoosa County District 1. For your help, support, thoughts and prayer throughout the elections this year. I look forward to serving each one of you for the next 4 years.”

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