Run-off turnout historically low - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Run-off turnout historically low

August 9, 2004

Albany-- You can help decide some important elections Tuesday, but of course, only if you take the time to vote.

The turn-out at run-off elections normally is only a fraction of what it is for primaries and general elections. That's why many candidates work extremely hard to encourage people to finish the job.

"I'm Freddie Powell Sims. I want you to put this on your car," and this House District 151 candidate hopes her name, like her bumper sticker, sticks with the voters. Freddie Powell Sims says, "We have tried to impress upon them the importance of the race. We have given them all of the facts and as much data as we can about the runoffs and what takes place and hopefully they will come back."

In Dougherty County, about one-third of original voters return to the run-offs--much better than the ten percent state-wide. Elections Supervisor Carolyn Hatcher says high profile races attract voters, "However you know we have the House District 151 race that has generated quite a bit of local interest so probably we will have a pretty good turnout there, we hope."

But, when we ask voters if they plan to hit the polls, "Are you planning on voting in the run-off? I would but I will be out of town. Why didn't you vote early election? Oh, mistake, careless mistake," says one voter.

"Are you planning on voting tomorrow in the run-off? I will vote anytime it comes up, I will go vote," says voter Michael Thomas.

That's precisely what the candidates, like Sims, want to hear, "You do everything the book says you should do and more and you just hope that people will buy into it and come back because we really need them to come back and make a decision about their district--it is important."

All of the precincts open Tuesday morning at 7.

Posted at 4:20 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com