The prediction all along has been that the voter turnout for the Tuesday, July 26 Greensboro City Council election would be dismal.
After one day of early voting there are now a few statistics that indicate the percentage will fall in the range that many were predicting – between 5 percent and 10 percent of the registered voters will cast ballots in this election to choose the nine people who will run the City of Greensboro until 2025.
This is only the second time the Greensboro mayor and members of the City Council have been elected to four-year terms. Prior to 2017 the members of the City Council were elected to two-year terms.
On Thursday, July 7, the first day of early voting in the July 26 City Council election, 467 voters cast their ballots.
That would appear to compare favorably with the first day of early voting in 2017, when 212 voters cast ballots. But in 2017, on the first day of early voting, only two early voting sites were open – and on the first day of early voting this year all six early voting sites opened at 8 a.m.
In 2017, on the first day of early voting when all early voting sites were open, 954 voters cast their ballots. Since two early voting sites had already opened, there are some variations, but a straight up comparison is that the voter turnout on the first day of early voting this year was 49 percent of the first day of early voting with all the early voting sites open in 2017.
Another consideration is that this is a holiday week. A lot of people take the week of July 4 off and are out of town. In the May 17 primary voter turnout was much heavier toward the end of the early voting period than it was at the beginning.
So at this point there are many different factors to consider, but in a direct comparison, in the 2017 election a total of 14.8 percent of the registered voters voted in the election. So if the first day comparison is close to accurate – a little over 7 percent of the registered voters could be expected to vote in the July 26 City Council election.
In 2017, a total of 44,291 voters cast ballots, and based on the calculations the voter turnout this year would be about half of that – or a little over 22,000 voters will get to decide who makes the decisions for the 300,000 residents of Greensboro until the next City Council election, which is scheduled for November 2025.