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Steady stream of Newton voters going to polls
Runoff voters
Voters at the Brick Store precinct at St. Augustine's Catholic Church check in before casting ballots today in the U.S. Senate runoff elections. - photo by Tom Spigolon

COVINGTON, Ga. — Voting and the review of unclear ballots appeared to go smoothly today, Jan. 5, in Newton County.

Phil Johnson, chairman of the Newton County Board of Elections, said he traveled to 11 voting precincts this morning and did not see or hear of any delays for voters.

"There wasn't a long line at any of them," he said.

Johnson said precincts had seen a steady stream of voters at the county's 22 precincts throughout the day. 

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

"I think turnout will be good," Johnson said.

He said he had not heard of any mechanical problems at the Newton County precincts despite some problems being reported in other counties with voting machines.

In addition, a vote review panel that includes Johnson and representatives of the county's two political parties had seen about five duplicated ballots and 31 absentee ballots they were required to adjudicate by determining the voter's intent when a ballot was unclearly marked for either candidate.

Johnson said the panel was socially distancing from each other after Democrats agreed on the final day of advance voting they would provide a member after weeks of refusing to do so. 

Out of safety concerns from COVID-19, Democratic Party members had said they would not serve on a panel with a Republican who only wore a face shield. Their possible lack of participation threatened to halt the final certification of votes.

Runoff voters
A voter waits outside the precinct at Newton County Library after casting a ballot today, Jan. 5. - photo by Tom Spigolon