Voter fatigue could hurt Peebles, help Roundtree in sheriff race

By: Justin Fabiano Email
By: Justin Fabiano Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 17, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree are making their final push to earn the right to face Republican Freddie Sanders in the race for Richmond County Sheriff.

"We've been reaching out to the supporters of our opponents who lost in the July 31st race," Peebles said.

"We know a large percentage of the population did not come out and vote, and they're registered to vote, so we're trying to energize those people," Roundtree said.

Roundtree's right -- 35 percent of registered voters showed up to the polls on July 31. The Richmond County Board of Elections expects only 25 to 30 percent turnout Tuesday.

It's a phenomenon known as voter fatigue, and history suggests it leaves frontrunner Peebles vulnerable.

"[I'm] trying to make sure that my base, the people who did vote for me, that they come back out. There's a real danger in those folks not coming back out for me," Peebles said.

The theory is that Peebles, who got 47 percent of votes in July, could fall victim to the idea he's already won the race.

"It's not uncommon for someone to look at those numbers and say, 'Scott doesn't need me, he's got this,'" Peebles explained.

The Board of Elections told News 12 more often than not, the candidate finishing second in a primary will actually win a runoff, but Roundtree's not buying it.

"We don't want to leave anything to chance," he said. "We want to go out and make our own history."

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