While voting officially began in one election in Polk County last Monday, another is still being dissected.

Advance in-person voting in the Dec. 1 runoff for Polk County Commissioner District 2 started last Monday, Nov. 23 and finished Wednesday, Nov. 25 with 275 ballots cast at the Polk County Elections Office.

The runoff between Ricky Clark and Linda Liles is needed after none of the five candidates in the special election on the Nov. 3 ballot received 50% plus one of the total vote.

Any absentee ballots for the Dec. 1 runoff must be returned to the elections office by 7 p.m. on Dec. 1. With such a short window, officials are encouraging voters to use the drop box located at the county annex building at 144 West Ave. in Cedartown.

Polk County Elections Coordinator Brande Coggins stressed that this runoff is just for the local seat. The two U.S. Senate runoffs will be held on Jan. 5 with early voting for those races set to start in December.

In the midst of conducting the county commission runoff, Polk County’s election officials are also part of another recount of Georgia’s roughly 5 million ballots cast in the state’s presidential election this month following a request by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

State law allows Trump, who lost Georgia by fewer than 13,000 votes to President-elect Joe Biden, to seek a recount due to the narrow margin. Georgia’s election results were certified Friday, Nov. 20 after a statewide audit of every ballot that included a hand recount.

The new recount will run ballots through scanners rather than by hand, said Gabriel Sterling, the election systems manager in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.

Coggins said they were approximately 70% complete with their recount on Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday and anticipated completing the recount Monday afternoon, Nov. 30.

The county’s vote review panel will then be called in to review any ballots in question and verify the final report to the secretary of state’s office.

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