Early voting begins for House District 34 runoff

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Jun. 28—Polls opened Monday for early voting in the runoff to claim the seat vacated by former State Rep. Bert Reeves in State House District 34.

Republican Devan Seabaugh, an executive at Metro Atlanta Ambulance, and Democrat Priscilla Smith, an artist and former educator, are facing off as the top two finishers from the June 15 election. Seabaugh bested a field of five candidates with 47.1% of the vote; Smith received 24.6%.

As neither candidate received more than 50%, a runoff was triggered.

Early voting is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June 28 to July 2 at the Cobb County Elections office on Whitlock Avenue. Next week, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6 through Friday July 9 at the Whitlock location. The North Cobb Regional Library will also hold early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., July 6 through July 9.

Election Day, meanwhile, is Tuesday, July 13.

As of Monday afternoon, the Cobb Elections office's website showed no wait time at the Whitlock location. Early voting turnout was anemic in the first round of voting, with just 1,100 votes cast in the first two weeks. When the polls closed on June 15, there were 7,089 votes cast, bringing the total turnout to around 17%.

By contrast, over 30,000 residents cast a ballot in the district's November 2020 race between Reeves and Smith.

Seabaugh and his fellow Republican candidate, former Kennesaw Councilman David Blinkhorn, together brought in over 60% of the vote in the first round of voting. Republicans told the MDJ earlier this month they were confident Seabaugh, who would have won outright with 207 more votes of the total cast, would bring the race home.

Smith, on the other hand, is hoping to pull out an upset victory.

"Let's be honest: the Georgia GOP thinks they have this special election in the bag," Smith wrote in a Facebook post after the first round. "But we're ready to catch them asleep at the wheel."

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