Primary runoff primer: What you need to know before June 18

early voting sign

(Credit: Nava Rawls)

Jun 06, 2024
Key Points
  • Early voting for the June 18 primary runoff is next week
  • Key races could decide who represents Georgia in Congress and who runs Georgia’s fourth-largest county

If you plan to vote in Georgia’s June 18 primary runoff, keep the following dates and details in mind:

  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Friday, June 7. Changes to Georgia’s election laws have shortened the time between elections and runoffs to four weeks from nine weeks. Request a ballot here. 
  • You’ve got one week to vote early. Advanced voting starts Monday, June 9, and runs through Friday, June 14. Early voting hours are typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, exact times may vary. 
  • Why are we having a runoff? Georgia is one of three states requiring a runoff in a general election when no candidate gets a majority of the vote. The other two states are Louisiana and Mississippi. In every other state, a candidate can win a general election with the highest number of votes. 
  • Unsure about the process? Check your voter registration status, poll locations and other key details on the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office My Voter Page.


The May primary was low-key, with low turnout and few surprises. Most incumbents headed back to the Statehouse in January. However, some races in the June 18 primary runoff could determine who will represent Georgia in Congress and who will become CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia’s fourth-largest county. In addition to local and judicial races, the runoff has 11 congressional and state legislative races. Here are several to watch:

Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District: This will be a heavily watched contest. Former Trump administration political adviser Brian Jack is squaring off against Mike Dugan, former Senate majority leader who left the state Senate to run for this west-central Georgia district. The heavily Republican district includes most of metro Atlanta’s southern suburbs and extends farther southwest to parts of Columbus. Both Republicans are vying for the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, who announced last December he was retiring. The winner of that race is expected to be favored to represent Georgia in Congress. But not before facing Democrat Maura Keller in the Nov. 5 general election.

Georgia’s 14th Congressional District: Democrats Clarence Blalock and Shawn Harris face off in a race that will pit November’s winner against U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the highest-profile Republicans in Congress. Harris is a retired Army brigadier general; Blalock is a small-business owner. The district is in the northwest corner of the state.

Georgia House District 180: Republican incumbent Rep.  Steven Sainz, R-St. Marys, who championed the sex offender bill called Miranda’s Law, is fighting to keep his seat in this coastal Georgia district that includes Camden County and parts of Glynn County and  Jekyll Island. Sainz, who got 49.69% of the primary vote, is facing Glenn Cook, a retired Navy aviator and Delta Air Lines captain. The runoff winner will face Democrat Defonsio Daniels, a former Marine and federal police officer, in November.

Senate District 55: The race for retiring Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler’s seat, which includes Stone Mountain, heads to a runoff between lawyer, entrepreneur and former legislator Randal Mangham and Iris Knight-Hamilton.

DeKalb chief executive officer: DeKalb County Commissioners Lorraine Cochran-Johnson and Larry Johnson are seeking to fill the county’s highest elected seat now that CEO Michael Thurmond is not seeking another term. Cochran-Johnson has worked as a professor and associate publisher of several Atlanta-area publications. Johnson is the former vice president of community engagement for the Association of Black Cardiologists and former manager of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.

When you head to the polls or anytime, take State Affairs with youCheck out our playlist of Georgia music by Georgia artists.

Have questions, comments or tips? Contact Tammy Joyner on X @lvjoyner or at [email protected].

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