Tuesday is Election Day for the state House District 34 special election, with two Democrats, two Republicans and a Libertarian vying to replace former state Rep. Bert Reeves under the Gold Dome.
The race is a “jungle primary,” meaning all candidates run on one ballot, regardless of party. To win, a candidate must receive the majority of votes (50% plus one). Otherwise, the top two finishers will advance to a July 13 runoff.
The district, which includes Kennesaw and part of Marietta, has about 42,000 registered voters. About 2,900 — 6.9% of voters — voted in the three weeks of early voting.
Reeves won reelection to the seat last November, besting Democrat Priscilla Smith with 56% of the vote. But in May, he resigned to take a high-level job at the Georgia Institute of Technology, triggering a special election.
Smith, an educator and artist, is running for the seat again, as is Democrat Sam Hensley Jr, an attorney and screenwriter.
On the Republican side, former Kennesaw City Councilman David Blinkhorn and Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service executive Devan Seabaugh are running.
Chris Neill, a former educator and Georgia Tech employee, is running as a Libertarian.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Only registered voters living in District 34 can vote. To check your voter registration status, visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Cobb elections director Janine Eveler said the last special election held in Cobb, in 2011, saw turnout of only 7.5% of registered voters. Even with one race and expected low turnout, Eveler said the speed of election results will depend on how quickly the poll workers close down, pack up, fill out paperwork and turn in the voting equipment to the county.
“We’re hoping for 9:30 or 10 (p.m.),” Eveler said. “But who knows.”
Results will be displayed on the Cobb elections website and on the Georgia Secretary of State website.
Of the five candidates, two are hosting public events on election night. Seabaugh is hosting a watch party at Governors Gun Club at 7 p.m. in Kennesaw. Smith is hosting a watch party at 7:30 p.m. at El Taco Azteca, also in Kennesaw.