Despite low numbers, Kirk pleased with elections
by Neil B. McGahee
Nov 07, 2013 | 1802 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voting was reported throughout the day Tuesday at the Cartersville East Voting Precinct. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Voting was reported throughout the day Tuesday at the Cartersville East Voting Precinct. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Despite an abysmal voter turnout, Bartow County elections supervisor Joseph Kirk felt pleased with the results of Tuesday’s election.

“Overall it was very smooth,” he said. “This was the first year where we had contact with many of the cities. We conducted elections for the first time for every municipality in Bartow County except White. Our poll workers had never done this type of thing before — conducting basically six different elections at once — and they did a great job.

“There was some confusion about some districts; some people didn’t know their district, and that required us educating them. One thing we learned was there needs to be a map in front of every polling center so people can determine if they are at the correct polling place. There was some confusion in Adairsville, Cartersville and Mission Road about which state Senate district they belonged, 14 or 52.”

Kirk said an early-morning auto accident in Adairsville threatened to thwart early voters from accessing the Manning Mill polling place, but the police were able to clear the scene by the 7 a.m. opening.

“I had just enough poll workers to get the place up and running,” he said.

Kirk said there remains some confusion in the Euharlee City Council race where no candidate managed to garner more than 27 percent of the votes.

“I am consulting with both parties’ lawyers,” Kirk said, “as well as turning to the state for assistance in how to handle it.”

Kirk said he was very disappointed with voter turnout which averaged about 9 percent across the county.

“Less than 5 percent of the city of Cartersville voters participated in the election,” he said.” Voter turnout was equally dismal in Emerson, 23.2 percent; Euharlee and Adairsville, 21.6 percent; and 47 percent in Kingston.

“In the Senate District 14 race, 2,436 out of 27,930 registered voters showed up to vote 8.7 percent in the state Senate race. I really wasn’t happy about the turnout for the state Senate.”

Kirk said it’s all due to voter apathy.

“Yes, it was an odd year election,” he said. “But it was a state Senate election and people should have exercised their right to vote.”

Kirk says the only way to change voter apathy is through education through local schools and taking away the mystery and sometimes even fear of voting.

The results of the elections will be official at 5:05 p.m. Friday, Kirk said.

“The results of the District 14 state Senate race will be forwarded to the state elections board for certification,” he said. “The local elections will be counted and rechecked then sent back to the local governing body — in this case the city councils — and they will certify the results.”

Kirks unofficial election results show voter turnout as:

• 2,436 of 27,930 registered voters in the state Senate District 14

• 379 of 1,783 registered Adairsville voters

• 1,202 of 9,338 registered Cartersville voters

• 456 of 2,101 registered Euharlee voters

• 161 of 339 registered Kingston voters

• 135 of 582 registered Emerson voters