Voters will determine the Brunswick city commissioner to represent the North Ward seat for the next four years in Tuesday’s runoff election.
Incumbent Johnny Cason got 354 votes, or 46 percent, in a field of four candidates in the Nov. 5 general election. He will face John Davis Perry II, who got 189 votes, or 24 percent.
City elections typically get a much lower turnout than in president or governor races, and runoffs get even smaller turnouts.
Christina Redden, assistant supervisor of elections in Glynn County, said it’s difficult to determine how large the turnout will be for Tuesday’s election. During the Nov. 5 election, only 8.1 percent of the city’s 9,761 registered voters turned out to the polls.
Regardless of the turnout, the city’s three polling places will have to be fully staffed. The polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
“We put in the effort regardless of the turnout,” she said.
Redden said one of the goals of the elections board is to increase voter turnout in all elections.
More absentee ballots by mail have been returned than for the Nov. 5 election, which indicates there is interest in the runoff.
“I’ve already been surprised by the turnout,” Redden said.
Julie Jordan, chair of the Glynn County Democratic Party, said the turnout for city elections has been traditionally low despite efforts to encourage people to vote in all elections.
“This election will probably be determined by less than 200 votes,” she said.
The city commission seats are nonpartisan. Jordan said she is uncertain if making candidates declare a party affiliation would increase voter turnout.
Jordan said it’s possible voter turnout could be increased if more emphasis was placed on the impact local elected officials have on a person’s life.
City commissioners are responsible for public safety, city streets and roads, millage rates, municipal projects and other public services that can have a major impact on taxes and how public services are delivered.
“In Brunswick, there are a lot of people who do care,” she said. “It’s about helping people.”