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Voter turnout could be in single digits for runoff
by Everett Catts
November 21, 2013 06:54 PM | 2225 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fulton County’s top elections official is predicting a turnout of only up to 10 percent in the Dec. 3 nonpartisan city runoff elections.

Only 17.36 percent of Fulton’s voters hit the polls in the Nov. 5 general election.

“I just expect [the runoff] to be much lower because runoffs typically attract fewer voters. I would be surprised to see 10 percent,” Fulton County Registration and Elections Director Richard Barron said Thursday.

Unlike the 2009 runoff, when 30.4 percent of Atlanta voters cast ballots in the mayoral election, this year’s runoff does not have a local mayoral race on it, so turnout is expected to be much lower.

Early voting for the runoff started Nov. 20 and ends today. It is taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

o Fulton County Government Center, 130 Peachtree St., Suite 2186, Atlanta

o South Fulton Government Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Room 105, College Park

o North Fulton Government Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, Room 209, Sandy Springs

All residents who were registered to vote before the Oct. 8 deadline and who live within the municipalities where runoff elections are taking place are eligible to vote in Tuesday’s runoff, even if they did not vote Nov. 5.

Voters with questions about the elections or their voter status are encouraged to contact the department at (404) 730-7020.

When asked what the biggest problem the county experienced during the Nov. 5 election, Barron said, “It was in a Candler Park neighborhood. The secretary of state took responsibility for it. There was a programming error for some of the ballot styles in one polling. They had assigned a voter group with the incorrect district combo. We had a workaround in place and were to keep everyone voting.”

As for the runoff, Barron said, “We’re ready to go.”

“I would just encourage voters to make sure they have the correct ballot and if they feel they have the incorrect ballot, to let the poll worker know,” he said. “Always let the poll worker know before you hit ‘cast ballot.’ But once you hit ‘cast ballot,’ there are no do-overs. Unfortunately most people do not say something until it’s too late.”

Tuesday, the polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. in Sandy Springs and at 8 p.m. in Buckhead.


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