By Leah Banks
Tuesday was Election Day for the state of Georgia, and Fayette County did not shy away from the ballot box.
According to the Fayette County Voter website, out of the 36 total precincts that lie within county lines, all 36 were counted, and the unofficial results that have been posted online.
In the most significant county election, the citizens of Fayette voted to continue the Educational SPLOST (ESPLOST) with a total of 20,299 votes supporting the continuation.
The ESPLOST, or Education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax, is dedicated for use by the school system for school facility improvements, buildings, technology, safety, equipment, bus purchases, textbooks and to retire bond debt.
In other notable races, the ones that have gripped the country are the governor’s race and the race for the U.S. senate seat.
Here’s how they shaped out locally.
In the governor’s race, the incumbent candidate Brian Kemp took the GOP race by storm with 16,249 votes. The closest competitor was David Perdue, who tallied 4,011 votes. Kemp will face Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams in the General election in November.
In the race for the U.S. Senate, candidate Herschel Junior Walker won the primary GOP spot with a tally of 12,896 votes. The closest competitor was Gary W. Black, who was short roughly 10,000 votes to secure his spot. Walker will face Incumbent Democratic opponent Raphael Warnock in the General Election in November.
Brian Hill, the Fayette County Director of Elections and Voter Registration, said he was proud of the efficiency of the tabulation process and looks forward to maintaining a similar organization for the November General Election.
“I am all about transparency and maintaining free and fair elections here in Fayette County,” Hill said.
While this is significant improvement than recent years, the voter turnout for the county rests at 23.87%, which is less than half the hoped turnout for the primary election. This percentage is seen most directly in the number of registered voters for the county, which is 88,416, compared to the number of total ballots cast in the unofficial results, which is 21,101.
According to review done at Yale University, primary election participation in the United States is significantly lower than general election participation. This is due to the fact that many consider the stakes lower and the costs of voting greater, therefore feeling less pressure to turn out and are more willing to defer to other people who feel and care more about the contest itself.
Yet and still, this did not stop many Fayette County voters to use their voice and rights to cast their ballots for the upcoming general election in November.
Hill thanked the Election office staff, poll managers, assistant managers and poll clerks for their outstanding work in maintaining a free and fair election, but also emphasizes that there is room for improvement moving toward the November election.
“I think having more Fayette County residents/voters understanding the process in which how to run an election would benefit our office and voter confidence in future elections. I would like to have Election information forums soon to educate Fayette County residents/voters on the process of elections,” Hill said.