Most of the ‘We the people’ didn’t show up, again

May 23, 2014 

It’s hard to get happy about an election when only 19.53 percent of the state’s registered voters participated, but proving that everything is relative, it’s hard to complain about the turnout in Bibb County that was 26.66 percent -- 7.13 percent over state turnout statistics. Only 16.18 percent of Houston County voters cast ballots, less than Crawford County’s 17.02 percent, Peach County’s 16.42 percent and Baldwin County’s 21.85 percent. All dismal, for sure, but everything is relative.

Atkinson County, in south Georgia, had the highest turnout in the state. Almost half of its 3,869 registered voters cast ballots to hit 48.03 percent. On the other hand, only 153 of Baker County’s (Southwest of Albany) 2,079 voters bothered to go to the polls.

When you compare large urban areas, Bibb stacks up well, relatively speaking. Muscogee County (Columbus) had a turnout of 26.29 percent and Richmond County (Augusta) 29.96 percent. Chatham County (Savannah) came in with 23.15 percent turnout.

For all the ad money spent in the Atlanta market, candidates who could afford it, didn’t get their money’s worth if turnout is the criteria. Fulton County only had 16.39 percent of its 536,586 registered voters go to the polls. Henry County, 14.9 percent; Gwinnett, 13.94 percent; DeKalb, 20.15 percent; and Cobb, 17.45 percent. How will all this play out in the runoff between David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston? Who knows?

All the candidates combined spent millions of dollars for a paltry turnout. There are slightly more than 5 million voters in the state and less than 1 million voted. It’s a shame that we tout ourselves as being a mature republic and we bat around terms such as “We the people.”

But when it comes down to it and we have to lay our votes on the line, most of the “we the people” are AWOL (absent without official leave).

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