22 percent of Dougherty Co. voters turnout in special election

22 percent of Dougherty Co. voters turnout in special election

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A total of 22 percent of voters participated in the Nov. 5 elections in Dougherty County.

An economic justice organization said they want to try to improve turnout ahead of the Dec. 3 runoffs.

The busy day at the polls, one could say, didn’t transfer on paper.

“I don’t think we should be too hard on ourselves, but we have a lot of work to do to get that number up,” said Amna Farooqui with 9 to 5 Georgia.

Anma Farooqi is the community organizer for 9 to 5 Georgia.
Anma Farooqi is the community organizer for 9 to 5 Georgia. (Source: WALB)

Farooqui said with 22 percent of all turnout, the problem is past the polls.

“If you don’t grow up in a home where you saw your parents voting or your grandparents voting, you are less likely to go out and vote for yourself and see it as important,” Farooqui explained.

Another factor, who they’re voting for.

“If there’s not a candidate you’re very inspired by, you’re not going to want to go out and take the time to vote,” said Farooqui.

According to elections documents, there was less than 40 percent turnout in 28 precincts.

Take the Albany State College West campus location. The largest precinct with more than 4,000 registered voters only had 672 votes at the polls.

“I really think that if people don’t feel called and they don’t feel that, that a candidate is going to make change on the issues they care about, they don’t have a reason,” said Farooqui.

But Farooqui is meeting people who she said are starting to see things differently.

“One woman I spoke with wasn’t going to go out and vote at all. Then I asked her how much her light bill was and we had a conversation and she was much more likely at the end of the conversation to think about who she wanted to vote for,” Farooqui explained.

Which is part of 9 to 5′s goal ahead of Dec. 3.

“People don’t vote because they don’t feel like it’ll make a difference, and it’s on us to show that it will,” Farooqui said.

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