More than 12,000 early votes cast so far in Cobb

A political sign in favor of Lost Mountain cityhood is seen in Cobb County on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

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A political sign in favor of Lost Mountain cityhood is seen in Cobb County on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

One week into early voting, Cobb County residents have cast more than 12,000 ballots ahead of the May 24 primary.

With a contentious GOP gubernatorial primary at the top of the ballot, Republican turnout is significantly higher than that of Democrats in early returns, with 7,350 in-person Republican ballots cast to just 4,646 Democratic ones as of Saturday, May 7, according to the Cobb elections office.

So far, 912 absentee ballots have been accepted out of 6,142 requested. Fewer than 200 have cast non-partisan ballots in early voting.

The top issue locally is whether three new cities will be created — but not everyone gets to vote in those races. If voters within the proposed city limits of Vinings, Lost Mountain and East Cobb say yes, the first officials would be elected during the general election.

A referendum to form the city of Mableton in South Cobb is also planned for Nov. 8.

On the Republican ballot, incumbent county Commissioner Keli Gambrill (District 1) is running uncontested for her West Cobb seat. Commissioner JoAnn Birrell faces challenger Judy Sarden for her District 3 seat in East Cobb.

No Democrat is running in District 1, but Christine Triebsch is running uncontested for the nomination in District 3.

In Smyrna, voters will select a Ward 2 candidate from Latonia P. Hines, Natalie E. Jones, Natalie Keng, Michael J. Starks and Cynthia Wagner.

Three school board seats are up for grabs.