A Handful of Voters Will Decide DeKalb School Board

Most of Georgia’s political races will be decided in November’s General Election. But that’s not true for the DeKalb County school board races. Voters decided more than half of those seats this week.

Hear the broadcast version of this story.

About 20% of DeKalb’s registered voters cast ballots for school board. DeKalb elections director Maxine Daniels says that’s typical, especially in a non-presidential year. Daniels says school board candidates were at the bottom of the ballot, which probably also made a difference. 

“Especially in this case where we had just many, many, many, many judges that were on each ballot that had no opposition so people tend to say, ‘Well, nobody’s running,’ ” Daniels says. “So, unless they know that the school board’s at the end and they’re interested in the school board race, they may not go all the way to the end and vote on the school board election.”

Voters decided four DeKalb school board seats this week. The other three will be determined by runoffs in July. Daniels expects the turnout for those races to be even lower:

“Generally, we have about 20% turnout for the election and the runoff is usually less than 10%,” she says.

That means a handful of registered voters will pick DeKalb’s school board.

The Georgia General Assembly recently reduced the number of seats on DeKalb’s board from 9 to 7, eliminating the district’s two at-large spots.