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The Few Make Decisions For The Majority PDF Print E-mail
News - Local News
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 22:15
It's a small number of folks that are directing the future of Chattooga County, according to voter turnout at two previous elections.
A vote to allow Summerville restaurants to sell liquor by the drink was decided by 52 city residents. The decision whether to continue a countywide sales tax attracted less than 8-percent of the registered voters.
"It's by far the lowest turnout I've seen," City Clerk Jill Durham said. "For a normal general election for seating a mayor or council, we will have about 500 to turn out."
The city has 2,427 registered voters and less than three percent showed. 
Officials are left wondering why voters didn't appear. Was it the buckle of the Bible belt is rusting and church members lack conviction as they once did? Or did last week's thunderstorm that knocked out power and toppled trees distract voters?
"I just don't think they hold [voting on liquor] as a burning issue like it was once used to be," Durham said.
The people that showed at the polls seemed to be an evenly mix demographically, City Manager Russell Thompson said.
"It's hard to speculate turnout," Thompson said.
He says the thunderstorm that knocked out power and damaged several houses could have impacted the elections.
The liquor vote wasn't the only election happening. Less than a 1,000 voters showed on a countywide sales tax referendum.
Voters renewed the current one percent sales tax for another six years. It's expected to generate $14 million during that span.
The money will be used on a host of projects across the county. Some of those include renovating the courthouse, recreation department upgrades, walking trails and bleachers.
The vote approving the tax was 656 to 257.
The tax runs from 2014 to 2020.
 

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