Early Voting Underway for Atlanta’s Nov. 30 Race for Mayor
ATLANTA — Early voting kicked off this week for Georgia’s 2021 runoff elections, the most watched being the race to finally decide who will be Atlanta’s next mayor.
City Council President Felicia Moore and Council Member Andre Dickens are facing off in the mayoral runoff after neither candidate garnered the 50% plus one vote needed to win the job outright.
Moore finished the first round of voting on Nov. 2 with 41% of the vote, while Dickens earned the second runoff spot with 23%.
Early voting formally began on Wednesday, Nov. 17 and will run through Nov. 24 at 16 voting districts in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Voters are also being asked to decide the outcome of several city council races.
As previously reported in The Well News, this year’s race for Atlanta mayor became a free-for-all after incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on May 6 that she would not seek reelection.
From a historical perspective, this year’s contest was unique because Bottoms was only the second mayor in the past 76 years not to seek a second term. Runoffs, however, are not so uncommon in Atlanta — this is the seventh mayoral runoff since 1973.
Moore was first elected to the city council in 1997 and elected its president in 2017; by comparison, Dickens is a relative newcomer, having been elected to the city council in 2013 and reelected in 2017.
Since the start of the campaign, crime has been the central issue in the campaign, especially the alarming rise in Atlanta’s murder rate.
The Atlanta Police Department investigated 157 homicide cases in 2020, up from 99 in 2019 and the most in more than two decades. And early last month, the city recorded its 122nd homicide, up from the 106 investigated as of Oct. 5, 2020, according to the department.
Mayor Bottoms has attributed the increase in murders to a “COVID crime wave.” Others, including law enforcement officials, say it’s hard to attribute what’s happening to any one cause.
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