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Early voting Monday for runoff races
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Correction: Levie Maddox and Ronnie Dimsdale will face off in the runoff election to decide the Repulbican candidate for the District 5 Board of Commissioners seat.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the candidates.

Early voting for Newton County's two primary runoff races begins Monday and will last all week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., Covington.

For those who don't vote early, the actual runoff election is Aug. 21. In the Republican race for the District 5 Board of Commissioners seat, candidates Ronnie Dimsdale and Levie Maddox will face off after garnering the exact same percentage of votes (29.8 percent) in the July 31 primary.

In the Democratic race for the District 113 state representative seat, incumbent Pam Dickerson will face challenger Sharon Sawyer. Dickerson captured 42.07 percent of the vote compared to Sawyer's 32.47 percent. Whoever wins the runoff will win the seat, as there is no Republican candidate in the running.

Despite having only two races, many voters will be able to participate in one of the races; the only precincts that won't be open Aug. 21 are Brick Store, Down, Newborn and Rocky Plains. However, some precincts are split precincts, meaning voters from two different districts vote at the same precinct. Voters should check their voter registration card or go to the Georgia Secretary of State's My Voter Page,, to see if they fall in either of the two races.

In addition, voters who voted one party's primary cannot vote in the other's party's runoff election. So, for example, if a District 5 resident voted in the Democratic primary, he cannot then vote in the Republican runoff.

Those who voted non-partisan or did not vote at all can vote in whichever party's primary they want.

Past runoff turnout
Though voter turnout is generally lower in the runoff election than it is in the primary, the numbers are difficult to compare because some voters may not be eligible to vote in the runoff.

However, looking at past numbers might provide some guide.

In 2010, 19.91 percent of voters turned out for the primary, with only 12.79 percent returning for a runoff election that included the Republican race for governor and 12 other local and state races.

In 2008, 22.13 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots in the primary, while only 14 percent returned for the runoff. In that runoff, there were three county-wide races and one county district race.

In the 2004 election, 30.83 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the primary, while only 13.35 returned for a runoff that had two state races and two national races.

For more specific examples, the 2008 race for the Democratic District 3 Board of Commissioners seat saw 1,402 votes in the primary with five candidates, and then 1,155 voters turned back out for the runoff to choose between Nancy Schulz and Jimmy Clark.

In the 2004 state senate Republican race, 6.801 voters cast ballots for six candidates, while 3,374 voters choose between John Douglas and Michael Waters in the August runoff.

The results for the 2012 primary were finalized last week, and the final voter turnout was 30.92 percent, as 17,071 out of 55,207 registered voters cast ballots.