Municipal election turnout low at 18%

Published 11:27 am Wednesday, November 3, 2021

According to Randy Howard, Sumter County’s Board of Elections and Voter Registration Supervisor, the City of Americus has 9.183 active voters. Of these voters, only 1,741 cast their vote for mayor, making the turnout rate being a little over 18%. Of these voters, 720 voted on election day, 914 voted early and 107 voted by mail. As was the overall trend, Mayor-elect Lee Kinnamon received 461 on voting day, 11.02.21. He received 652 during early voting and 53 mail-in votes.  Javarise Terry received 183 election day votes, 167 early votes and 35 mail-in votes. Marcell Baker earned 70 votes on 11.02, and 89 votes during early voting. Of the 1,741 votes, Kinnamon received 1,166 votes, Terry received 385 votes and Baker received 178. Kinnamon won 67.44% of the vote. Kinnamon also won the vote at all three precincts, Rees Park, Griffin Bell and the Recreation Department. Kinnamon will fill the seat of Barry Blount who has served as Americus’ mayor for 16 years.

The position of mayor was the only item on all ballots throughout the city. District 5, 4 and 3 also asked voters to endorse a city council position. In District 3, Nicole Smith ran unopposed and received 154 total votes, with 4 of these being mail-in votes. On 11.02, she received 67 votes and she received 83 votes during early voting. All of Smith’s voters were located the in Griffin Bell precinct. Smith will be taking a seat held by Lou Chase for 16 years. Chase decided not to pursue reelection.

In District 4, there were three contenders to include incumbent Charles Christmas, Jelena Hoston and Steven Avant. Christmas won 58% of the vote with a total of 307 votes. Christmas received 104 votes on 11.02, 195 during early voting and 8 mail-in votes. Jelena Hoston received a total of 114 with 49 coming on election day, 63 being earned during early voting and two coming via mail-in vote. Steven Avant earned 106 votes, 50 cast on 11.2 and 55 cast early. He also received one mail-in vote. Griffin Bell was the only precinct voting in this race.

In District 5, incumbent Kelvin Pless and Shirley Reese competed for the seat. Pless won with 178 votes, 80 of which he received on election day and 82 during early voting. He received 16 mail-in votes. He earned 68% of the vote. Shirley Reese received 81 votes, 36 on voting day, and 35 during early voting. Green received 10 mail-in votes. District 5 residents vote at both the Recreation Department and Griffin Bell. Pless won both of the precincts.

All of the races demanded the winning candidate earn 50% of the vote plus 1 more vote to avoid a runoff. With more than 2 candidates in a race, it is not unusual for a runoff to be required. However, in the case of the 2021 municipal elections, all winning candidates received well over the 50% + 1 requirement. All of the winning candidates will serve a four-year term beginning in January of 2022.