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More than 1,700 participate in early primary voting
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With the close of early voting on Friday, one of the busiest, most competitive local primary seasons in years draws to an end - though for some races, the campaigning will likely continue for several more weeks as runoffs are anticipated.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, 657 Newton County voters had cast ballots in the Democratic primary and 1,109 voters had cast ballots in the Republican primary, according to Donna Morrison, elections supervisor for the Board of Elections.

Polls for Tuesday's voting will open at 7 a.m., at 22 stations across the county, and close at 7 p.m. There is no early voting on Monday.

Voters are reminded that they can only vote in one party's primary. Cross-party voting is not allowed during primaries. Only in the November general election are voters allowed to cast ballots for more than one party.

There are 35 candidates (18 Republicans and 17 Democrats) running for 11 local offices.

With several races fielding three or more candidates, party runoffs are anticipated, especially for the Republican race for sheriff. Runoffs are scheduled when no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

Party runoffs will be held on August 5 (if needed). Only voters that voted in the particular race that is contested will be allowed to vote in the party runoff.

The tabulation of the votes and announcement of the winners will take place after 7 p.m. at the Newton County Board of Elections, located inside the Newton County Administration Building on Pace Street. All results are unofficial until Wednesday.