Voters are showing little interest in the Augusta Commission runoff between incumbent Matt Aitken and challenger Bill Fennoy for the District 1 post.
According to data provided Friday by Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey, only 419 of the district’s 14,155 registered voters, just under 3 percent, cast ballots during eight days of advance voting for Tuesday’s runoff.
All early voting took place at the Board of Elections office, and the most ballots, 131, came from the voters in Eastview Community Center precinct, where Fennoy performed best three years ago after he and Aitken landed in a similar runoff.
After Eastview was May Park, with 65 early voters, and Julian Smith Casino precinct 107, with 53. Aitken carried those precincts in 2009 in beating Fennoy with 53.7 percent of votes overall.
Out campaigning Friday, Fennoy said voters seemed to be suffering ballot fatigue after the primary, primary runoff and general election.
“I wish we could get another 75-80 percent (Tuesday),” he said, but “a lot are just tired of voting.”
Others, he said, appeared unaware of the runoff.
Fewer than 10 people cast advance ballots from the Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Peabody Apartments, W.T. Johnson and Bernie Ward community centers, and Southside Baptist Church precincts.
Aitken was unavailable for comment Friday.
Bailey predicts overall turnout of 20-25 percent for the runoff.
“It’s kind of what we expect in this type of election, and the advance voting numbers show there is obviously some interest,” she said.
Three years ago, turnout was 25 percent for the Aitken-Fennoy runoff, but there are now 2,000 more registered voters in District 1 because of redistricting.