Low Turnout In Runoff At High Cost For Taxpayers

Updated:

Poll workers sit in an empty school gym waiting for Douglas County voters.
ATLANTA - Poll worker Kimberly Love said voter turnout is so low at Douglas County's Winston Elementary School precinct for runoff voting, she admitted she and the other precinct workers played Sudoku and word searches to fight the boredom.

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"It's been very slow here," she told Channel 2's Richard Elliot. "We've had 12 people and how many hours have we been here? Seven? Eight? It's been really slow."

Because there were only two statewide runoff races and those were for appellate court judges, the state of Georgia predicted only about five percent of registered voters would go to the polls.

Poll workers around Metro Atlanta said that's just about what they got.

"Turnout has been very low," said Winston precinct poll manager Tina Martin. "But it's basically what we expected."

Lousy weather also played a part in the low voter turnout.

Things were a little better at Austell's Trinity United Methodist Church where poll workers reported 50 voters by 4 p.m.

"Not as good as we wanted but more than we expected," poll manager Stacey Waters told Elliot.

While she appreciated the 50 voters, she said it was a far cry from the 1,200 people who voted during the general election.

"We've been taking frequent snack breaks," she said. "We've just been trying to pass the time the best we can."

Some experts have estimated that because of the low turnout and high costs of setting up precincts, Georgia will have spent about $15 per vote in the runoff.


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