Parking lots at polls in Macon were mostly empty Tuesday with no local races on the primary runoff ballots to catch their interest.
And even a pair of local school board contests in Houston County did little to spark life into dismal voting numbers there.
Stella Pew, poll manager at Macon’s Vineville Academy, said there had been just 19 voters by 11 a.m.
“It’s slow,” Pew said of the trickle of voters who came out to cast votes in state school superintendent primary runoffs on both the Republican and Democratic ballots, and the day’s big matchup between Republicans David Perdue and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who want the chance to battle Democrat Michelle Nunn for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
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About 6 p.m., Pew said the pace had picked up during the afternoon at Vineville Academy. But near the end of Tuesday’s voting, just 70 voters had cast their ballots at the school.
Across town, the turnout at the Hutchings Career Center polling center wasn’t any better. Poll manager Katy Harwell reported just 26 voters about 11 a.m. Harwell said the low turnout didn’t surprise her, and she didn’t expect voting to pick up much in the afternoon.
She was right.
During the final hour before polls closed, Harwell said just 69 people voted throughout the day.
A few polling places did have better participation. At the Ingleside United Methodist Church voting station on Ridge Avenue, 91 voters cast ballots Tuesday morning, said poll manager Hazel Couch, who expected voters would continue to come in steadily throughout the day.
“They are good voters,” Couch said of the precinct. “We usually have a pretty good turnout.”
Thirty minutes before the polls closed, Couch said 285 voters had cast their ballots there.
And in Houston County, even with two local school board races on the ballot, polling numbers were weak.
Houston’s turnout appeared to be significantly trailing the May 20 vote. With less than two hours to go before the polls closed, that turnout appeared to just over half of what it was in the primary election, poll managers at the Recreation Department precinct and Houston Mall precinct said.
Barbara Waddle, a member of the Houston County Board of Elections, said it appeared voter participation was down across the county.
“I think it going to be a little less than the primary election,” she said.
The official voter turnout numbers in Bibb and Houston counties were not available late Tuesday.
Telegraph writer Wayne Crenshaw contributed to this report. To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.