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20 March 2017

Newly Minted Majority Black City Posts Abysmal Early Voting Numbers

"People died for our right to vote," is a phrase often used by civil rights organizations like the NAACP to encourage black participation at the ballot box.

Down in the newly-created City of South Fulton, however, black voter participation is pathetic.

Based upon new numbers released by elections officials, it will take a whole lot of encouragement to increase black voter turnout in the new City of South Fulton.

Data provided by the Georgia Secretary of State's office indicates that of the 62,865 individuals registered to vote in South Fulton on March 1, 2017, only 4,017 cast ballots during the nineteen day early voting period that started February 27th and ended March 17th.

With the very first election day just hours away in the new City of South Fulton, voter turnout stands at a paltry 6.4%. This stands in stark contrast to the 73.4% turnout for the referendum that created the new municipality.

The 2010 Census places the population of South Fulton at 90.8% black and 2.6% Hispanic or Latino.

South Fulton City Council candidate Catherine Rowell attributes the extremely depressed turnout in part to early voting hours that are inconvenient to citizens.

"I think the hours for early voting were less than idea [sic] with the polls opening at 8:30 a.m. (compared to 7 a.m.) and closing at 6:00 p.m.," Rowell wrote in a Facebook post. "In essence, making it impossible for anyone who works intown to vote without leaving work early."

Rowell predicted that less than 10,000 people would participate in the March 21st election.

Polls open in South Fulton at 7AM, March 21st, and close at 7PM.

Nearly seven dozen candidates are competing for seven city council seats as well as the position of mayor.