“I’m very disappointed at the turnout overall for the primary and the resulting runoff. The one good thing with the runoff is we had almost the same number of people vote in the runoff as the primary, so it wasn’t much of a drop-off as we normally [have] seen in a runoff,” Kirk said. “The primary we had about 16 1/2 percent turnout, 16.6, and for the runoff we had a 14.25 percent turnout. So in a lot of cases the same folks who voted in the primary came back and voted in the runoff, which I was very pleased with.”
Though Georgia had a prolonged runoff election of nine weeks this year, Kirk believed the state-level races kept voters’ interest.
“It was nice to see pretty much the same folks come out to vote again. But, and I know those races got heated on the state level, and that kept folks coming out and kept them interested, but at the same time I know that some people I spoke with didn’t like the political ads. They didn’t like ... what they considered some of the dirty politics going on, and that just kept them away from the polls,” he said.
However, Kirk said election offices were unable to combat any voter apathy caused by election fatigue or negative ads.
“Politics and elections are two very different things. All we can do is try to educate the public as to how to make their voice heard by coming out to vote, by contacting their representatives, that sort of thing, but the choice is theirs if they want to come and do that,” Kirk said.
The Bartow County Board of Elections and Voter Registration will certify the county’s election results today at 5:05 p.m. at the Elizabeth Street Elections Building. The general election, which includes gubernatorial and U.S. House and Senate races, is scheduled for Nov. 4.