Low voter turnout in Augusta and Aiken

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---There were several important positions up for grabs in today's election, but how many voters decided to make their vote count?

Not many, according to polling officials in Aiken and Richmond counties.
Polling officials say turnout has been light and steady, but slow.

One poll worker in Augusta said that in his mind the turnout was pathetic.

They were up and ready, voting machines just waiting on potential voters to cast their ballot. But most polling places around Augusta often looked like a ghost town.

"Voting has been steady but slow," said Richmond County's Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey.

Other than a low turnout, the day seemed to go off without a hitch.

One of the potential issues wasn't a problem at most locations, as most voters remembered to bring one of the six forms of photo ID. The most popular was a state issued driver's license.

Bailey says the 20 percent turnout of Richmond County voters was average for an off-year election. But that number isn't good enough for voter Linda Fitzgerald, who wore her sticker proudly. "We need to be conscious of our government."

In the city of Augusta, that government has a huge potential for change--five county Commission seats are up for grabs.

Gerard Bryant says that was reason enough to get out and vote on his lunch break. "I'd like to see people getting along a little more in their voting."

"I think Augusta will come a long way if the commissioners can get together and work together," Fitzgerald said.

Dan Martin and his wife felt the same. "We need qualified people on the Commission, and I think I have one."

"Who is that?" we asked.

"Don Grantham is our man," Martin said.

No matter who your man or woman of choice is, poll workers say it's about exercising your rights.

"When you have a chance to make a difference, you should," said poll worker Judy Bray.

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