There just weren’t as many of them talking as there were in 2009.
Data from Tuesday’s municipal election show that voter turnout in Atlanta was around 19 percent, down sharply from the 30.5 percent turnout the city saw in 2009.
Sandy Springs didn’t see quite as steep a drop off, but there were noticeably fewer voters at the polls this year. According to figures from Fulton County, 11.7 percent of voters showed up on Nov. 5. In 2009, turnout was 16 percent.
There was no shortage of intense election contests this year. Several Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education incumbents were challenged for their spots, but District 4 Board of Education Member Nancy Meister handily defeated challenger Taryn Bowman. Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel faced a number of opponents from Buckhead and will face Cynthia Briscoe Brown in the Dec. 3 runoff for Seat 8 At Large on the BOE.
In the Nov. 5, 2013 District 4 BOE race, 8,767 voters weighed in and 5,714 of them decided to keep Meister for another four years. There were 43,663 votes cast in the Seat 8 At Large race. McDaniel received 16,043 votes and Brown received 11,264.
In 2009, the District 4 BOE race drew 15,036 voters. The Seat 8 at large race only had one candidate in 2009, Reuben McDaniel. There were 44,900 votes cast in that race.
Sandy Springs city elections had several new names on the ballot. Mayor Eva Galambos, City Councilman Chip Collins and City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny all decided not to run again. Even the lure of new candidates wasn’t enough to produce a turnout at least matching 2009’s numbers for Sandy Springs. Rusty Paul was elected as Mayor. There will be a runoff in District 6 between Andy Bauman and John Stoj. District 2 City Councilwoman Dianne Fries lost to challenger Ken Dishman.
On election night Fries lamented low turnout, but her race saw more voters on Nov. 5 than it did in 2009, when she ran unopposed for reelection. There were 1,028 voters in District 2 on Nov. 5, and Dishman won with 641 votes. In 2009, Fries ran unopposed and received 631 votes out of 650.
On Nov. 5, there were five candidates running for Sandy Springs District 6 seat and there were 1,718 votes cast. Bauman received 690 votes and Stoj received 500 votes. The largest voter turnout occurred in the District 3 race, which drew 2,427 voters to the polls. Graham McDonald won the District 3 race with 1,846 votes, defeating opponent Barbara Malone.