Friday, August 11, 2006

Sea-change in Fayette County

I'm a political junkie. I watch Fox, the Georgia Gang and similar shows, listen to talk radio (still love my music though!) and keep up with what's going on in politics. So of course, I had to take a look at the numbers in the last election just to see how many voted in each of the races.

It was interesting... to me at least! Close to 11,500 voted in the County Commission race, top number in the Board of Education race was just under 9,000. Since learning that somewhere between 71 - 75% of each tax dollar goes to the Board of Education, I've paid a LOT more attention to those races! Both races are extremely important. One deals with a the majority of our tax dollars, the other controls our lifestyle and quality of life.

However, what astounded me was the increase in the number of Democratic voters in the county. We are truly going through a sea-change! I had to pull past election numbers to make sure I was seeing things correctly.

If my calculations are correct, in the 2004 Primary roughly 18% of those voting were Democrats. In 2006 the number jumped to 32%. And I happen to know that a number of Democratic voters pulled a Republican ballot so they could vote in the School Board and/or the County Commission races.

That is quite a jump in a short two-year period. It could be that in the past more Democrats pulled a Republican ballot so they would have more of a say in local races. Somehow I doubt that accounts for the huge jump.

The population is growing and it seems that more Democrats are moving into the county. I know there's been a huge push to register Democratic voters, so that probably accounts for some of the change, too.

If the trend continues, in the next Primary election, there's a strong chance we'll see a Democratic elected official. Especially if Republicans continue to stay at home during the elections as they did in the recent election. Although, the next election will be a Presidential election year, so all those Republican voters who don't get involved locally will make sure to vote. It's kind of like those who go to Church only on Easter and Christmas. It's expected.

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