Commissioner: 'Seems like we have more squawkers than voters'

Commissioner: 'Seems like we have more squawkers than voters'
B.J Fletcher, Commissioner (Source: WALB)
B.J Fletcher, Commissioner (Source: WALB)
Sara Henderson, Executive Director, Common Cause of Georgia (Source: WALB)
Sara Henderson, Executive Director, Common Cause of Georgia (Source: WALB)
Ginger Nickerson, Election Supervisor. (Source: WALB)
Ginger Nickerson, Election Supervisor. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some voters requested the Dougherty County Board of Elections open early voting opportunities on Saturdays and Sundays in the Albany city commission Ward 2 runoff election.

Dougherty County Election Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said there was a written request that went before to the Board of Elections on Monday.

The board voted 3 to 1 to deny that request because board members said due to turnaround time, they weren't sure when they could have the ballots ready.

"With the runoff, we aren't sure exactly when we are going to open up advance voting, but we are hopeful everything will be processed and completed and we will be able to have a full week of advance voting," explained Nickerson.

Right now, officials are not sure when they will be able to have advanced voting. The runoff election day is December 5th.

You can only cast an advanced voting at the Government Center in downtown and people can apply for the absentee ballot and they will be sent out when they are ready.

All five precincts will be open on election day.

There was a very low voter turnout in the November general election for the Ward 2 commission seat.

City leaders and activists are emphasizing the need for voters to cast their ballot in the runoff election.

Commissioner B.J. Fletcher explained that so many people want change to be made in the city, but those same people are sometimes not even voting.

"People want change or people have an opinion and one of the first things I ask them is, 'Did you vote?'" said Fletcher.

Fletcher has been telling residents that the best way to get the change they want to see is letting your voice be heard on an election ballot.

"You have an opportunity to make a change and the only way you are going to make a change is to get up get out there and vote," explained Fletcher.

Now with only two candidates in the runoff, Matt Fuller and Bobby Coleman, doing your homework about the candidates shouldn't be that hard.

MORE: Albany Ward 2 commission race goes to runoff 

"You know, to me, it's your responsibility to look at the candidates, see what the best quality of the candidates are, see what they have to offer, ask questions. This is your city," said Fletcher.

Leaders with the Common Cause Organization held a public information meeting Wednesday night on their statewide tour about voter education and fair voting.

Its concern is that the low voter turnout across the entire state shows voters feel their voice isn't being heard.

"Only nine to 10 percent of these people in the districts are actually making decisions on who their representatives are going to be," said Common Cause of Georgia Executive Director Sara Henderson.

Fletcher and Henderson both said that every vote matters and every vote is important.

"Everybody says that this government starts with the mayor and six commissioners and that is correct. That's the way our government is set up. But the taxpayers are number one. They are our bosses," explained Fletcher.

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