MOULTRIE, Ga. — Early voting for the state House District 171 special election will take place Jan. 6 through Jan. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — with the exception of Martin Luther King Day, as the county will be closed. 

Early voting will be held at the Colquitt County Courthouse Annex in Room 201.

Regular voting will take place Jan. 28 at the precincts in District 171. 

House District 171 includes the northern half of Decatur County, all of Mitchell County and part of Colquitt County. In Colquitt County, affected precincts are Doerun, Monk, Middlecreek, Hartsfield, Hamilton, Bridgecreek, Funston and Thigpen. 

There are three candidates seeking to fill the unexpired term of the late Rep. Jay Powell. Those candidates are, as they appear on the ballot, the following: Tommy Akridge (REP); Joe Campbell (REP); and Jewell Howard (DEM).

If no candidate receives half the votes cast, a runoff will be necessary; it would take place Tuesday, Feb. 25.

According to Probate Judge Wes Lewis, the county’s elections superintendent, the new paper ballot voting machines will be used to conduct this election. 

“This will be the first election using the new voting machines,” said Lewis. “It will take more time because it adds the new step of printing out the ballot, reviewing and placing it in the scanner to count it. Of course, because this is new, there’s going to be some kinks, but we’ll work through it together.”

Voters are strongly encouraged to learn about the new system. One of the new features of the new voting system is the ability to review your paper ballot, both on the ballot-marking device and with your printed ballot prior to scanning into the tabulator. 

During this special election there is only the one contest, but voters are strongly encouraged to review their ballots before turning them in. If the voters would like to change something on the ballot, they will have to request a poll worker to spoil their ballot and receive another one. If you spoil the ballot, you must have it with you when requesting another one. 

“It’ll be the west side of Colquitt County that will be voting in this election,” said Registrar Paula McCollough. “If anyone needs to know what district they are in they can call me at (229) 616-7056.”

Voters can also go on the My Voter Page on the Secretary of State website — — to check their voter status and voting district.


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