VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The voters were few and far between at the gymnasium at Northside Baptist Church and many other precincts in Valdosta Tuesday.
Dennis Marks is a member of the Lowndes County Democratic Party and was offering free rides to the polls, as he does for every election. But Tuesday, no one was calling for a ride. "Presidential elections, we get hundreds of riders. Gubernatorial elections, dozens. For this special election, we haven't had much call at all," Marks explained.
The Lowndes County Republican Party said they hadn't had any calls Tuesday either.
"This is a really important election 'cause this will determine whether we continue to get the funding to build a high school for the city, make improvements for the county," said Marks.
James Wheeler agreed. He said even though E-SPLOST had passed every time before, it shouldn't be taken for granted. He said in a recent election, some people told him that they weren't going to vote because they felt that there candidate was going to win and there was no need to vote...but that candidate ended up loosing.
"It really hit home with my wife and I," Wheeler said. "We do think that it's a civic responsibility that we all should vote." And even though Dennis Marks didn't have any passengers to pick up Tuesday, he said his experiences in past elections help motivate him to always be ready to help others fulfill that civic responsibility.
"One of the most touching things in my career was having the opportunity to take someone to the polls who was in a wheelchair, who did not have legs, but was determined to exercise her right to vote," said Marks.
The Lowndes County Board of Elections Office said voter turnout for special elections in the county is usually only about 3-5% of the registered voters.
A referendum to allow Sunday alcohol sales was also on the ballot Tuesday.