• 68°

Early voting begins

Republican run-off early voting at Polk County Board of Elections

COLUMBUS—Early voting for a runoff election has begun in Polk County.

Early voting for the republican United States Congressional District 11 began on Thursday.

Early voting will end on June 20.

The runoff election was originally scheduled for May 12, but was postponed by executive order of the state board of elections director earlier this year because of COVID-19.

The new date for the runoff election, between Madison Cawthorn and Lynda Bennett will on June 23. Early voting for the runoff election began on June 4.

Statewide, Bennett received 20,606 votes, or 22.72 percent compared to Cawthorn’s 18,481 votes, or 20.38 percent. Polk County voters chose Cawthorn over Bennett during the March 3 primary, with Cawthorn receiving 657 Polk County votes, or 30.12 percent over Bennett’s 406 Polk County votes, or 18.62 percent.

Polk County Board of Election Director Cliff Marr said the board added 12 supplemental absentee votes and one provisional vote during the canvass.

Early voting for the runoff election will be held at the Polk County Board of Election Office during office hours only except on the last Saturday before the runoff.

Registered republican voters are eligible to vote in the runoff, as well as unaffiliated voters who did not choose a democrat ballot during the March primary.

The second primary is limited to voters in the 11th Congressional District, which now includes Polk County and the other 15 western counties and half of Rutherford County.

Any 11th District Republican who was registered to vote on March 3 will be eligible to vote in the runoff as well as Unaffiliated voters registered to vote on March 3 and who requested a republican ballot. Unaffiliated voters who are registered and who did not vote on March 3 can also vote in the runoff.

Any unaffiliated voters who requested a ballot other than the republican ballot in March are not eligible to vote in the runoff, or are voters who are registered with other parties, such as democrats or libertarians.

On June 23 all Polk County polling places will be open in the county’s 7 precincts from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Polk County has taken precautions for people to vote safely at the board of elections office. There are masks available as well as hand sanitizer in the Womack building.