Sunday Solutions – Dec. 4, 2022
If you’ve already voted, you’ll find some respite from campaign ads here. However, we won’t totally ignore the election — but we will give you something to chew over during Sunday dinner conversation.
Quick voting lines
Early voting ended late Friday but hundreds of Georgians were still in line at the declared closing time. In some counties, polls stayed open another 2 hours to process those dedicated voters. Despite the quick runoff window, turnout exceeded records statewide. Chatham, for example, saw lines each day of early voting, but Chatham also was one of six counties out of 159 where less than 60% of the advance voters from the November election returned to vote early. Granted, state law restricted the days available for voting. In the general election, Chatham’s 5 early poll locations were open 19 days. The runoff had just 7 locations. Most counties only had 5 days. Will Tuesday bring more in-person voters to neighborhood precincts? We’ll see. Noteworthy from GeorgiaVotes.com: 95,278 (4.9%) of 2022 runoff early voters or absentee applicants did not vote in the 2022 general election.
Focus on Tuesday
With millions of Georgians yet to vote — including more than 900,000, who voted early last month and didn’t for the runoff — both parties are focused on getting people to the polls on Tuesday. Candidates have been stumping with notable politicians and celebrities, while paid and volunteer crews are canvassing neighborhoods. In Glynn and Chatham counties, get out the vote efforts will take you to the movies. A Better Glynn and Knitted Souls are sponsoring a screening of “Wakanda Forever” at 2:30 p.m. today at Glynn Place Mall Cinemas. Register at this link. In Chatham, groups Through It All and Black Votes Matter hosted a showing last week for people who invited 10 friends to attend and vote.
Just flu in
Three weeks ago, Georgia had one of the highest flu rates in the country. It’s calmed a bit, but our infection rates are still high. While you’re planning your family gatherings for December holidays, you may want to plan a flu shot as well. The airborne threat begs the question: Why don’t we have at-home tests for flu when we have them for Covid and pregnancy? Stat News does a great job explaining why history, digital divides, the varying flu strains and the US Food and Drug Administration present hurdles for an at-home test that takes a physician out of the diagnostic mix.
Your second cup: Tracking progress with data
Data sets can take the emotion and preconceived notions out of topics like discrimination and well-being when it comes to race, ethnicity or geographic differences. The Black Progress Index, an interactive dataset from the Brookings Institute and the NAACP, compiles mounds of statistics to find out what factors affect Black Americans’ life span and well being. Examples include income, home ownership, gun deaths, and business ownership. With the index, you can type in your city or county to see the data for your local Black community. The Sahan Journal, a nonprofit news site dedicated to reporting on Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities, examined the index and found the life expectancy for Black citizens in Scott County, Minn., was the highest in the nation. What does it show for Coastal Georgia? Black citizens in Camden and Liberty counties have longer lifespans than in neighboring counties, bolstered by religious connections, fewer gun deaths, education rates and close family and support systems. In Liberty County, higher income also made a notable difference. Check it out to see how quality of life matters and where we all still have much work to do.
If you haven’t already voted, you’ve got an assignment for Tuesday: Vote.
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