Voter turnout low for District 1 Runoff - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Voter turnout low for District 1 Runoff

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Walt Fetzer was a little surprised by what he saw when he showed up to vote in the District 1 Runoff Tuesday.

"There was very few in there with me," says Fetzer outside of Julian Smith Casino. "I expected it to be a little more coming late."

But after a primary election earlier this year and a general election less than a month ago, it seems most voters stayed in.

"The runoffs following big elections like we had back in November, it's awfully hard to get voters back out to the polls," says Richmond Co. Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey.

 

Bailey says "voter fatigue" is most likely the reason for low turnout, and it showed in the 15 precincts open for business Tuesday.

At May Park, only 226 ballots were cast, a little over 20% of the voters registered there.

Turnout was slim at Julian Smith Casino as well.

"We've done almost 400 today, so far," says poll manager Judy Blackstone. "Actually, we've done better than I expected."

Both candidates Matt Aitken and Bill Fennoy were disappointed with the low turnout, but neither knew if it helped or hurt their chances at the seat.

 

"I don't know," Fennoy said. "You never know how those people are going to vote."

 

"I'm not an expert on elections," laughs Aitken. "I guess it depends on what part of town you're in, where those numbers are at, is who it's going to benefit."

 

After all the ballots were cast and counted, less than 20 percent of registered District 1 voters made it to the polls.

And to voters like Fetzer, that kind of turnout is a problem he'd like to see corrected.

"If I had my say, it'd be a high turnout on all elections," he says. "It's everyone's duty and responsibility to vote."

For more information on the District 1 Runoff results, go to http://appweb.augustaga.gov/board_elections/voter/electab12re/totals.asp

 

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