Low voter turnout in Cobb's Tuesday election follows trend and Campaign disclosure reports reveal funding gaps for Cobb municipal candidates

by Ricky Leroux November 05, 2015 12:00 AM MARIETTA — Voter turnout in Austell, Kennesaw…

Georgia (Nov 6, 2015) —  


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by Ricky Leroux
November 05, 2015 12:00 AM
MARIETTA — Voter turnout in Austell, Kennesaw, Powder Springs and Smyrna for Tuesday’s elections was low — about 18 percent of registered voters cast ballots — but Cobb’s Board of Elections director said this is a typical for a municipal election.
“Anything in that 17 to 22 (percent) range is about what we usually see,” said Janine Eveler, Cobb elections director. “For some reason, people just don’t come out for the local elections like they do for the national ones. … It’s funny because they have so much more influence on your life at the local level. But it’s not as exciting? I don’t know.”
In 2012, when there was a presidential race on the ballot, about 74 percent of registered voters in those same four cities went to the polls.
Kerwin Swint, professor of political science at Kennesaw State University, was not surprised by the turnout numbers.
“That’s why they call them off-year elections,” Swint said. “Interest is way down. The local candidates don’t have nearly the advertising budgets to do radio spots, TV spots. It’s not on people’s radar near as much as when you have the excitement and all the media coverage of a presidential or even gubernatorial campaign.” …


November 03, 2015 12:15 AM

MARIETTA — A look at the campaign disclosure reports for candidates taking part in today’s city elections reveal some discrepancies in the fundraising among candidates.

However, money isn’t everything in local elections, according to Kerwin Swint, political science professor at Kennesaw State University.

“At this level, money’s not as important as it would be for, say, a statewide or congressional race,” Swint said.

Money can give candidates an edge when it comes to purchasing yard signs and mailers or having candidate meet-and-greets, Swint said, but fundraising advantages don’t always result in winning.

“If you’re able to raise more money, then you’re better able to afford all those things that are going to get you voter contact,” Swint said. “You can have radio spots or mailed brochures. You are better able to position yourself, but the caveat there is it’s not always the person that wins. In local elections, sometimes a candidate that is less funded but they have a better turnout mechanism or they have something else working in their favor can win.”

Bigger factors in local races are name recognition, reputation among voters and getting out the vote, Swint said. …


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