Runoff Day

The Senate race is no doubt the biggest story of this runoff, having come under a magnifying glass nationally thanks to the possibility that Democrats could reach 60 votes in the Senate.

In Glynn County, it’s almost guaranteed that Saxby Chambliss will win, thanks to overwhelming Republican support here. He is also leading in statewide polls by a comfortable margin.

In a state race, Jim Powell and Bubba McDonald are facing off for a seat on the Public Service Commission. McDonald, a Republican, will likely win here, but Powell garnered more votes than McDonald in the general election, and could take the seat.

The non-partisan seats are less clear.

Sara Doyle and Mike Sheffield are in the running for a seat on the Court of Appeals. Doyle is a young lawyer who has specialized in education. Sheffield has practiced criminal law for many years, and is well-known in Republican circles. Doyle got the most votes in the general election, from a field of 7 candidates, but Sheffield may have the edge this go-round because of his name recognition.

In the only local race still undecided, Maria Lugue and Ernie Gilbert are facing off for State Court Solicitor. Their runoff campaign has sounded like crickets compared to the fireworks set off in the general election. Those were mainly coming from the losing candidate, Kevin Gough. Maria won the most votes in the general election but again, Republican ties may give the edge to an opponent. It’s a non-partisan race, but Gilbert’s has made no secret of which party he’s a fan of.

Overall, it’s assumed that far more Republicans will turn out to vote than Democrats, and that will ultimately mean victory for most Republican candidates.

Published in: on December 2, 2008 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

A wild goose chase

Voter Bill Metcalf of St. Simons got the short end of the stick today, running into multiple roadblocks as he tried to vote in the runoff.

His appears to be an isolated incident, with no other reports coming into us of trouble voting and the elections office saying they didn’t have any other problems.

But Metcalf made the trip across the causeway a number of times today because he was determined to vote.

Here’s his story:

He voted early in the general election at Fire Station No. 2 on St. Simons. This location was not used for early voting in the runoff election, but enough people were confused that staff at the fire station put up a sign directing would-be voters to the Board of Elections office in Brunswick, where runoff early voting was taking place.

The staff forgot to take down the sign, so when Metcalf and a few others showed up to vote at 7 a.m. when polls opened, they assumed they were supposed to go to Brunswick, and made the drive. But the elections office isn’t used as a precinct on polling day, only for early voting, so Metcalf was then sent back across the causeway to vote, only to find he had been given the wrong location. He went to work, and used his lunch break to cross the causeway one more time and vote in the right location.

“Some people said it cost them their vote,” Metcalf said. “It really became a wild goose chase.”

Metcalf said he was “determined to vote for Saxby Chambliss and determined that my vote would count.” He he was more than a little annoyed at the trouble he had to go to, but said the elections officers apologized and admitted their mistake (in directing him to the wrong polling place). He said it’s confusing how much precincts have changed in the past few years.

Tina Edwards at the elections office said no more than 5 people showed up because of the sign at the Fire Station, which was promptly removed, and a new, accurate sign put up.

Published in: on December 2, 2008 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senate election still not over

Georgia’s Senate election has emerged as the race where every last vote counts.

Both campaigns stayed up way into the morning hours, grabbing a couple hours of sleep before morning press conferences and conference calls.

Jim Martin’s campaign declared at an 11:45 am press conference that he’s in a runoff.

Saxby Chambliss’s campaign still thinks he’s got it in the bag and is waiting for final votes to be counted.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

A long wait

Everyone’s still waiting on the early voting results to come in. John Madala, who’s way ahead in the BOE race, isn’t willing to say he won because so many early votes are still out, and is leaving to go to sleep because he has to get up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to Atlanta for his grandmother’s funeral.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 10:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Early voting results still not counted

Early voting results still aren’t part of the reported results available from the Board of Elections.

Even though it shows that 80% of precincts are reporting, that’s not 80% of the votes.

Half or more votes in Glynn County were cast early and those results will all be reported as one “precinct.”

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

17 precincts now reporting

A big jump in the number of precincts reporting. We’re now up to 80 percent of votes in. Republicans look like they carried it.

McCain 69%

Chambliss 66%

Kingston 75%

Keen 66%

Jerome Clark 473 to 456 for Kasper

Madala 75%, 1643 votes

Court of Appeals: Sarah Doyle leads with a quarter of votes.

Superior Court judge5800 to 4671

3920 Maria 3398 Ernie

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 9:06 pm  Comments (1)  

More first results – local races

School board: Madala 201 / Edwards 106

Superior Court Judge: Harrison 386 /Taylor 287

State Court Solicitor: Ernie Gilbert: 176/ Kevin Gough: 189/ Maria Lugue: 274

This is with just 2 precincts, 9.5 percent reporting

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

First results finally coming in

Two precincts are in – that’s 9.5%

For president: McCain 482 /Obama 250

For Senate: Chambliss 425/ Martin 235

For House: Kingston 489/213

For Ga House: Keen 219/Dumas 151

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

A slow day

Bd of Elections Chair Patty Gibson says today was a “very slow” day for voting.

By 5 p.m. only 12,000 people had voted in the county – that’s less than voted early.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Polls close in 20

Polls will close in 20 minutes!

I’m heading over to start blogging from the Board of Elections office now.  Send tips and updates to jdavis (at)

You can also follow me on twitter.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shane’s runs out of free chicken meals

Although the chain Shane’s Rib Shack earlier promised free chicken tender meals to everyone who came in wearing an “I Voted” sticker today, the chain changed its rules a couple days ago, according to an employee.

Apparently it was too confusing to decide who had actually voted and instead, locations gave out 300 free three-piece combo meals. They were out by early afternoon.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

No alcohol sales while the polls are open

Grocery shoppers Tuesday were confused by hand written signs in Winn Dixie on St. Simons Island, telling them alcohol sales are prohibited until 7 p.m., when polls close.

I couldn’t find any such law on the Georgia books in a quick search, but a lawyer tells me that Georgia law leaves it up to local governments to decide whether to permit the sales. Brunswick does allow it as long as it’s farther than 250 feet from a polling place. Glynn County codes say it also is allowed farther than 250 feet from a polling place.

Some other states do this too: 

  • Delaware forces liquor stores to close on Election Day, but does not ban the sale of alcohol at restaurants or bars.
  • Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota and South Carolina permit local governments to regulate the sale of alcohol while the polls are open.
  • Idaho allows beer and wine to be sold on Election Day, but “spirits” must be “locked and secured” until the polls are closed.
  • Mississippi seems to be just the opposite — municipalities may prohibit beer sales, but they have no jurisdiction over “spirits.”
  • Then there’s West Virginia — it prohibits retail licensees from selling liquor on any primary or general election day but permits the sale of beer, wine and “fortified wine.”
  • Indiana and Kentucky say no to all alcohol while the polls are open.
Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Short or no lines

Precincts across the county have short lines and quick or no waits, voters report.

At First Baptist Church on St. Simons Island, voters are casually directed to a table, where poll workers are sitting to help people fill out the card. Sudoku puzzles are a hot commodity among poll workers waiting to swipe people’s electronic voting access card. A poll worker slowly tears off “I Voted” Georgia peach stickers.

They say it’s been about this steady all day, though there was a rush this morning before people went to work.

The situation is about the same at C.B. Greer Elementary in Brunswick, other voters report.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stay Tuned

Bookmark this blog or add it to your RSS reader (Glynn Elections recommends Google Reader) and get ready, because it will be the best source of election coverage in Glynn County Tuesday night.

We’ll post updates on local races, including the newest vote tallies and what’s going on behind the scenes at Election HQ as well as around the county. We’ll also be updating our readers on state and national races.

Send your take to political reporter Jess Davis at jdavis (at), and feel free to add your comments on the blog.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 11:55 am  Comments (2)