The Article’s primary focus is on the partisan stakes, but the big picture here is the vicious cycle of low voter turnout, policy responsiveness, apathy, and machine politics.
Across Atlanta, . . . [Just a] year after residents voted in historic numbers to help “turn Georgia blue,” fewer than 3 out 10 turned out for the mayor’s race, despite the widespread desire for a leader who can help the city rebound from a year of setbacks.
Why? A combination of apathy and a failure to mobilize voters around local issues.
Kendra Cotton, chief operating officer for the New Georgia Project, founded by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, said that her group is still in the process of “educating the electorate that we registered.”
“Folks, particularly when you think about the progressive side of the aisle, have ceded local races, county races, state races and have put an emphasis on national races,” she said.
And the results are predictable:
Younger voters, non-homeowners and newly registered voters in particular . . . didn’t participate, even though the campaign included extensive debate over the future of policing and how to deliver social services in the most populated city in the Deep South.
“Despite the social justice movement that just happened in 2020, it should tell you something that people felt a greater urge of necessity to come out and protest for social change than they did to participate in a local municipal election,” [Atlanta City Council member Antonio] Brown said.