Runoff Woes -- Is it worth the price we pay? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Runoff Woes -- Is it worth the price we pay?

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November 9, 2006

Leesburg - Just when you thought elections were over, they're not. There's a statewide runoff in three weeks.

It's not a particularly high profile race. In fact, you may never have even heard of these candidates for the Public Service Commission. And while there was pretty good turnout for the general election, elections workers don't expect a repeat on December 5th.

You may never even consider the costs that go into election day; your precinct may charge rent, workers have to be hired to set up machines and man the polls and absentee ballots ordered. All of that is paid for by your tax dollars.

Veronica Johnson says, "We want to be good stewards of the counties money so I would encourage people to go out and vote to help us make that money well spent."

And your money probably was well spent Tuesday. Veronica Johnson, elections supervisor in Lee County, says they saw about a 50% voter turnout, higher than expected, but she's afraid the runoff will be a washout.

"I'm projecting a very long day for my poll workers with very little turnout," says Johnson. But, unfortunately, there will still be a very big expense, regardless of how many voters go to the polls. "It will be an expensive endeavor for Lee County or for any County across the state.  Payroll for that day will probably run us a little over six or seven thousand dollars and that won't include having the equipment delivered or absentee ballots."

And a minimum order of those? About $1200. That's why Johnson says it's so important for you to vote in every election, but most of the folks we talked to, didn't even know there was a runoff.

"Did you know there's a statewide runoff? No. On who?," asks Butch Standefer.

"So did you even know there was a state-wide runoff? No imam, I did not," says Ronnie Newton. "For public Service Commission? No, I didn't no that," says Mamie Moses.

When we spoke to Butch and JoAnn Standefer about the runoff, they agreed it will be expensive, but that's just a price that has to be paid. "I can't think of any other way to do it," says JoAnn. Butch adds, "It's part of the process, I mean, obviously if it was a runoff for Governor or anything else, they would have done the same thing so how do you make it any less important?"

Not less important, just less publicized, but now that the word is out, will voters turn out? Butch says, "Well, I think we should." Mamie Moses says, "it's always important to go out and let your voice be heard, every vote makes a difference."

And here's a little incentive for you to vote in the runoff: Johnson says, "The people who have complained about having to wait in line Tuesday to vote won't have to wait in line at all on December 5th, I can probably guarantee that."

And the only way to guarantee the winner is the candidate of your choice, is if people like you vote.

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