Turnout low in advance voting for District 1 Augusta Commission runoff

Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 8:31 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 1:37 AM
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Voters are showing little interest in the Augusta Commission runoff between incumbent Matt Aitken and challenger Bill Fennoy for the District 1 post.

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(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff)  Augusta residents Hopie and Lucy A. Dorren fill out a form on the last of advance voting for the District 1 runoff election between Matt Aitken and Bill Fennoy on Friday, November 30, 2012.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff) Augusta residents Hopie and Lucy A. Dorren fill out a form on the last of advance voting for the District 1 runoff election between Matt Aitken and Bill Fennoy on Friday, November 30, 2012.

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.


Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for voting in the Augusta Commission District 1 runoff between incumbent Matt Aitken and Bill Fennoy.


101 Asbury United Methodist Chuch, 1305 Troupe St.

102 Crawford Ave. Baptist Church, 507 Crawford Ave.

103 Dyess Park, 902 James Brown Blvd.

104 Eastview Recreation Center, 644 Aiken St.

105 Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 1260 Wrightsboro Road

106 Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St.

107 Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St.

108 Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3131 Walton Way

109 May Park, 708 Fourth St.

110 Peabody Apartments, 1425 Walton Way

111 Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, Paine College, 1235 Druid Park Ave.

112 St. John Towers, 724 Greene St.

113 W.T. Johnson, 1612 Hunter St.

114 Bernie Ward Community Center, 1925 Lumpkin Road

115 Southside Baptist Church, 3612 Mike Padgett Highway

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Riverman1 12/01/12 - 09:58 am
Big Election

This seemingly minor election has powerful, large factions on both sides lined up behind the candidates. You could argue this is more important than the Sheriff's race.

But the strategy is to downplay the importance and keep things quiet. Enormous forces will try to turn out voters on at least one side. It will be interesting who wins that battle and what type voters show up in this predominantly black district. Harbinger is an apt word for this election.

soapy_725 12/01/12 - 11:02 am
Manipulation of the culture

Government spends a lot of time "manipulating" a certain culture. Buying their votes with entitlements. Herding them away from critical votes by deception. Giving away free turkeys at the polls may be the only thing that can peak the interest in this election.

Why is Augusta in a time warp. Because the leaders want a time warp. Plain and simple. Use this culture to enhance your wealth. That was the program in the middle 1800's hundreds and it has not changed. Only the size of the plantation has changed.

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