Political leaders across spectrum express concern

by Robin Kemp

Generally speaking, local races tend to see lower turnout than Presidential races, and fewer voters show up for runoffs than for primary elections. This would be the case in the Board of Commission District 1 race, where a measly 4.6% of the district’s 43,992 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s special election runoff.

Former District 8 School Board member Dr. Alieka Anderson beat first-time candidate Alaina Reaves by 69 votes of the 1,873 that were cast. We’ve broken down the results by precinct so that you can see how engaged your precinct was (or wasn’t).

By the numbers

Precincts, or locations where a certain geographic area goes to vote, can be confusing. A voting location might change from one election to another–for example, if a church basement that usually serves as a precinct were to flood, the Board of Elections and Registration would have to approve moving the precinct someplace else. A case in point is the City of Jonesboro municipal election, which moved from the police station to Lee Street Elementary because of mold issues at the police station.

Here are some facts about BOC District 1’s precincts:

  • 18 precincts make up BOC District 1
  • All 11 of Morrow’s precincts are in District 1, including one in Conley, 4 in Morrow, 4 in Rex, one in Jonesboro, and one in Ellenwood
  • Clayton State University is in District 1, is designated as LC1 (Lake City), but has a Morrow address, and is Lake City’s only precinct
  • Only one of Jonesboro’s 19 precincts, JB08, is in District 1
  • Half of Forest Park’s six precincts are in District 1 (FP02, FP04, FP06), but FP6 has a Morrow address
  • Forest Park’s 5 wards for municipal elections do not correspond to precincts for county elections, which is why there were two different voting areas in the Senior Center
  • Ellenwood has three precincts: EW1, EW2, and MO11

As for turnout in Tuesday’s runoff, here’s an overview of some key points:

  • EW2, which voted at East Clayton Elementary, cast the most ballots at 242 (the results for EW2 show 241 ballots were counted). It also had the most registered voters at 3,271 and the second-highest registered voter turnout at 7.4%. It also has the second-most voters of all District 1 precincts.
  • MO2, which voted at the Morrow Municipal Complex at City Hall, had the highest percentage turnout at 7.42%. Of the precinct’s 2,007 voters, 149 showed up–the fourth-highest number of ballots cast by precinct Tuesday.
  • EW1, which voted at Utopian Academy for the Arts, cast the second-most ballots at 184, with 6.14% of its 2,996 registered voters showing up.
  • FP4, which voted at Babb Middle School, cast the least number of ballots at 24. However, it did not have the lowest percentage turnout. Of the 1,108 registered voters in FP4, 3.07% showed up. It is the precinct with the smallest number of registered voters at 1,108.
  • JB08, which voted at Mt. Zion Elementary, had the lowest percentage turnout at 1.39% of its 3,514 registered voters. It also has the most voters of any precinct in District 1. Only 49 cast ballots.
  • FP6, which votes at B.C. Haynie Elementary, has the second-smallest number of registered voters at 1,400. However, it had the fifth-highest turnout at 5.07%. That translated to 71 voters.

Here’s the spreadsheet, which you can sort to your heart’s content. (Just click on any column heading.) On your cellphone? Turn it sideways to see the whole chart:

Looking back at the September 21 special election primary, with its field of 10 candidates, only 2,362 out of 43,992 registered voters took part--which was a 5.37% turnout. Of those, 1,258 were advance voters and 1,065 voted on Election Day. 34 ballots were absentee by mail and five were provisional. Sixteen votes were listed as "unresolved write-in"--nine on Election Day and seven in advance.

By comparison, the Clayton County Board of Education District 8 race between Joy Tellis Cooper and Arvis Walker had a 6.08% turnout of 1,216 out of 20,049 registered voters in that School Board district.

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