VALDOSTA -- Four Valdosta City Council candidates have one more matter to settle before they

enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday -- today's runoff election.

John Eunice and incumbent Richard Stewart are vying for the at-large seat, while James R. Wright will run against incumbent Dexter Sharper for the District 1 seat. Polls open at 7 a.m. today for the runoff municipal election and close at 7 p.m.

Voters will go to their original voting precinct to cast their ballots.

Deb Cox, supervisor of elections for the Lowndes County Board of Elections, said the staff at the Board has been checking the voting machines and other equipment for the runoff.

"Everything has checked out fine, and we expect no technological glitches," Cox said.

Cox also said that poll workers have been trained to help voters if they experience any problems.

After the polls close, if no one is in line at 7 p.m. to vote, Cox expects the results to be tabulated quickly. If there are people in line, it could take longer. Absentee ballots will not be counted until 7 p.m.

Voter turnout is uncertain, especially with the holiday Thursday, but Cox said absentee ballot numbers are up.

Raymond Burkett, absentee ballot manager, said that 416 absentee ballots had been turned in Monday so far. This is a larger number than at the general election, where a total of 320 absentee ballots were cast.

"It's unusual to have so many absentee ballots cast in a run-off, but because of the holiday, a lot of people are gone so they chose to use the absentee ballot," Burkett said.

As in the general election, citizens can view results

on the Lowndes County Web site, www.lowndescounty.

com. Results can also be seen either in the lobby of the Lowndes County Board of Elections building off

North Patterson Street, or at the Valdosta-Lowndes Conference Center off Norman Drive.

To contact reporter Michelle Taylor, please call 229-244-3400, ext. 245.

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