We wouldn’t want to make things easy by lining up our mayoral election with a presidential election. Instead you can trek to the polls once again THIS November 7th for our municipal elections. In addition to mayor you will be electing other city offices so don’t forget to brush up on who is running for city council president, city council at-large, city council district races, school board, and even a few county and state level seats depending on where you live. Make sure you haven’t been bumped off the voter rolls by our Secretary of State and wanna be 2018 Governor, Brian Kemp. Check your registration, your Election Day voting location and addresses to send complain-y emails to at https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov
The mayor of Atlanta rules over a vast kingdom, but not as vast as you think. While the position is often used to represent the entire metro region on the likes of CNN, the mayor actually only oversees a population of about 472,000 and growing. In addition to repping us on the airwaves, the mayor also reps us on Twitter. As of late, that hasn’t worked out too well. You can see examples here, here, here, and here. Not satisfied with social media? You can also use the official press office to reply to journalists who question you. The city really is your playground. And if you want it to have more stadiums and streetcars, it’s your prerogative to leverage taxpayer dollars to make it happen. You might also want to throw in some affordable housing and usable sidewalks, but who are we to judge? If you want a more official list you can find it here.
Yes. Well, sort of. Since we have electronic ballots, you can type in any name you want, but if that name’s not on the certified list of write-in candidates, your vote for that candidate won’t actually count. (Sorry, Clark Howard.) If you do actually want to vote for certified write-in candidate, the list is available at all polling precincts upon request, but be sure to get the spelling right.
Q:What happens if nobody gets more than 50 percent of the vote?
More money spent, more mailers in your mailbox that go directly to recycling, more commercials that nobody pays attention to, more mayoral forums, and the endless Atlanta mayor’s race continues with a runoff.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote this November, it means we have to head back to the polls to choose between the top two candidates. For example, If the highest vote getter receives 45 percent of the vote and the next highest vote getter receives 10 percent of the vote, the two face off in a head-to-head race on Dec. 5, 2017, which is also International Ninja Day.
With 11 candidates remaining in the race, it is a foregone conclusion that we will have a mayoral election runoff (unless more federal indictments inside City Hall come down from feds before then). Recent polls at print deadline put front runner Mary Norwood at under 22 percent, the next candidate at 19 percent, and the third highest vote getter — the famous “undecided/no opinion” — at 18 percent. A candidate must get 50 percent + 1 of the vote to win the election outright.
Q:If I missed the Oct. 10 voter registration deadline for the upcoming election can I still register to vote?
Yes — just not for this election. Being registered to vote is important, so it’s never too late to register … for the next election. If you missed this election cycle, don’t worry. You will get the chance to exercise your voting skills in 2018 when we head back to the polls to elect a new Georgia governor. The voter registration deadline to vote in the 2018 general election is Oct. 9, 2018.
Q:Can’t I still register at a polling station on Election Day?
Where do you think you are, Colorado, D.C., Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, or Wyoming? No, this is Georgia, where you have to register at least 29 days in advance of the election. In 2016, voter turnout in states with same-day registration was seven points higher than states without the option, a consistent margin dating back to elections since 1970s when the policy was first introduced.
The last day to register to vote for the 2017 municipal elections was Oct. 10, 2017. People who are registered are eligible to vote early, which means voting on a day prior to Election Day. Unlike people who vote on Election Day, early voters can vote at a variety of locations. You can even vote over the weekend. This year, early voting is through Nov. 3. See the list of early voting locations and times here.
Q:What do I need to bring to vote? Can I take a selfie?
Don’t forget to bring photo identification, which can include a Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired; a state-issued voter identification card; a valid U.S. passport; or a valid U.S. military photo ID. No “ballot selfies” are allowed at the polls, so wait until you’re outside to snap a photo. It is illegal in Georgia to take pictures of a ballot or voting equipment, but the secretary of state’s office has said it has seen voters in previous elections post “ballot selfies” on social media — something that could get you in trouble with the law.
Technically those formerly convicted of a felony in Georgia can vote after their sentence and any parole, fines, and fees are completed. All the returning Georgian needs to do is register! But … most former felons are not told this information. Tell a friend!
The Atlanta mayor’s salary is $184,300.00 per year, which is roughly 1.2 percent of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s base salary of $15,750,000 for 2017. Atlanta’s chief of police makes $240,697, while a City of Atlanta teacher with a bachelor’s degree starts out making $45,600.
Based on their last campaign contribution disclosure reports (for the funds raised by Sept. 30), the mayoral candidates have raised over $10.3 million in cash. So far they’ve spent almost $6.5 million of that.
Q:Why do people spend millions of dollars for a job that does not pay nearly that much?
It might. The mayor’s race went to a runoff in 2009. Kasim Reed won the runoff against Mary Norwood by a mere 714 votes. When Reed leaves office in early 2018, he will have been mayor of Atlanta for eight years.
While you cannot see exactly how each neighbor voted, this map has just enough info to sow some serious discontent in your hood. Type in your address to see how many of you neighbors voted for Trump last November. And then try to guess which ones. FUN!