Early voting totals were announced at 8 p.m. at the county election office in Cedartown. Also around 8 p.m., the Rockmart voting precinct posted its totals on the front door.
Early voters gave Republican candidate for Polk County Sheriff Johnny S. Moats a lead of nearly 1,200 votes. Moats had 4,625 votes in early voting, compared to 3,427 for incumbent Sheriff J. Kelly McLendon (D).
The vote was a bit closer in Rockmart: Moats, 507; McLendon, 478.
Incumbent Democratic state Rep. Rick Crawford appeared headed for a loss. In early voting for the Dist. 16 House seat, Crawford was trailing newcomer Republican Trey Kelley nearly 2-1.
Early vote totals for the Dist 16 seat were: Crawford, 2,700; Kelley, 5,114.
Kelley also carried Rockmart. The Rockmart precinct totals for the Dist. 16 race were: Crawford, 421; Kelley, 562.
Added at 8:21 p.m.: Aragon precinct vote totals became available around 8:20 p.m. Aragon voters also favored the challengers in the sheriff and House seats.
Aragon totals for these two races were as follows:
Polk County Sheriff
Moats, 488; McLendon, 234;
Crawford, 249; Kelley, 463.
Sunday sales of alcohol, both by the drink at restaurants and package sales, had already been implemented in Cedartown and Rockmart as city voters passed two referendums, one late last year and one this spring.
However, Sunday sales referendums failed in Aragon and for the unincorporated areas of the county. Sunday sales referendums were back on Polk County ballots for the General Election as the Polk County Commission had voted to put the issue back to county voters.
Both Sunday sales referendums were leaning "yes" based on early voting. With three of seven precincts reporting in at 9 p.m., the vote totals were:
Sunday sales by the drink -- yes, 5,406; no, 4,925;
Sunday sales, package stores -- yes, 5,372; no, 4,932.
Based on partial returns from two of seven Polk County precincts reporting, the Georgia Secretary of State's website had Republican candidate for U.S. President Mitt Romney far in the lead among Polk County residents, with 73.87 percent of the vote (7,052) to incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama's 25.05 percent (2,392 votes).
Nationally, early precinct returns were also giving Romney a slight lead, with about 73 electoral votes to Obama's 64 -- but those figures are based on partial returns from just 11 early states.