Morning turnout appears light as Augustans head to polls today

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009 9:58 AM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 11:13 PM
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So far, a prediction of 15 percent turnout for today’s Augusta Commission and Richmond County school board elections seems to be panning out, Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said.

Robert Taylor casts a vote at Julian Smith Casino.  Rainier Ehrhardt
Rainier Ehrhardt
Robert Taylor casts a vote at Julian Smith Casino.

If the total doesn’t top the 16 percent reached in 1999, today’s election will have the lowest turnout for any Augusta Commission race since city-county consolidation in 1996.

As of 3 p.m., Mrs. Bailey said, only 170 out of 2,565 registered voters – 7 percent – had cast ballots at precinct 104 at Eastview Recreation Center, part of District 1 where four candidates are vying to replace Commissioner Betty Beard.

At precinct 102 at Crawford Avenue Baptist Church, also in District 1, only 77 voters have shown up – 8 percent of registered voters.

Some precincts, though, have already met or exceeded expectations.

Her 3 p.m. report had 370 people – 15 percent – casting ballots at districts 106 and 107 at Julian Smith Casino. Precinct 307 at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, part of District 3 where two candidates are challenging incumbent Joe Bowles, has had 239 people vote, which is 16 percent.

In the end, Mrs. Bailey expects the total numbers to balance out to around 15 percent.

“That’s kind of what I’m thinking,” she said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell.”

Odd-numbered commission seats are up this year, with contested elections in Districts 1, 3 and 5. There is also a special election in District 5 to replace Richmond County Board of Education trustee Joe Scott, who died in July.

Three members of the Hephzibah City Commission and mayor and two council members for the city of Blythe are also on the ballot. Polls close tonight at 7 p.m.

Mrs. Bailey said she expects to have results tallied by 9:30 p.m.

This morning, she said the biggest issue seemed to be voters who are not sure which polling place they are supposed to vote.

THE POLLING PLACES

DISTRICT 1

101 Asbury United Methodist Church, 1305 Troupe St.

102 Crawford Avenue Baptist Church, 507 Crawford Ave.

103 Dyess Park, 902 James Brown Blvd.

104 Eastview Recreation Center, 644 Aiken St.

105 Second Mount Moriah Church, 1404 Brown St.

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, 1452 Walton Way

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

112 St. John's Towers, 724 Greene St.

113 May Park, 708 Fourth St.

DISTRICT 3

301 Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3131 Walton Way

302 Augusta State Athletic Complex, 3109 Marvin Vanover Drive

303 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road

304 Crossroads Fellowship, 3875 Wrightsboro Road

305 First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way

306 First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way

307 Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 2200 Walton Way

308 Augusta State Athletic Complex, 3109 Marvin Vanover Drive

309 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

310 Crossroads Fellowship, 3875 Wrightsboro Road

DISTRICT 5

* 501 Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, 2372 Lumpkin Road

502 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glen Hills Drive

503 Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road

504 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road

505 New Life Worship Center, 3550 Morgan Road

506 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glenn Hills Drive

507 Minnick Park, 1850 Kissingbower Road

508 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

509 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

BLYTHE

801B Blythe Community Center, 294 Church St.

HEPHZIBAH

804H Jesse Carroll Community Center, 4977 Windsor Spring Road

* POLLING CHANGE: Voters in Precinct 501 will find their polling place has been temporarily relocated from First Shiloh Church at 2343 Windsor Spring Road to Burns Memorial United Methodist Church at 2372 Lumpkin Road. A church construction project prompted the change.

Comments (8) Add comment
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Dixieman
22962
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Dixieman 11/03/09 - 11:32 am
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I want to vote (a) to throw

I want to vote (a) to throw everyone on the Commission today off of it, and (b) to separate the City of Augusta and Richmond County as they were in the good old days. Does today's ballot have a space where I can do this?

bdittle
78
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bdittle 11/03/09 - 11:35 am
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Way to let the leaders be

Way to let the leaders be elected by a few, Augusta! So much complaining on these threads and so little action.

gooddaysunshine
0
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gooddaysunshine 11/03/09 - 11:38 am
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I'm on my way!

I'm on my way!

Frank I
1210
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Frank I 11/03/09 - 01:06 pm
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I voted this AM

I voted this AM

Reality
3
Points
Reality 11/03/09 - 02:49 pm
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We need ACORN and the Black

We need ACORN and the Black Panthers to keep the voting straight.......

onethickdiva
1561
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onethickdiva 11/03/09 - 04:59 pm
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Dixieman: I'm an Augusta

Dixieman: I'm an Augusta transplant, why do so many people want them seperate. Would this change taxes, schools, regulations? I dont understand what the "good old days" brought?

Dixieman
22962
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Dixieman 11/03/09 - 09:14 pm
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Onethickdiva: I was here in

Onethickdiva: I was here in the late '60's then came back. Augusta City was going bankrupt in 1995 and Georgia forced a shotgun marriage with Richmond County effective 1/1/96. The consolidation has not been a success and most people attribute many of our current problems to it. Suggest you talk to some old timers and read Chronicle archives to get a feel for the problems created...

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 11/03/09 - 09:19 pm
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dixieman, why vote to throw

dixieman, why vote to throw every commissioner away? Joe Bowles is one I'd keep.

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