Voters head to the polls Tuesday; all eyes on Atlanta mayor’s race

4:20 p.m Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 Local
Steve Schaefer
Atlanta mayoral contenders Keisha Lance Bottoms (left) and Mary Norwood speak at the WSB live debate on Sunday in Atlanta. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Voters will go to the polls beginning Tuesday morning to decide political contests throughout metro Atlanta.

Races include several Georgia legislative seats, positions on local school boards, mayoral slots, and county commission and city council offices.

The election is Tuesday, December 5.

However, all eyes are going to be focused on Atlanta as voters will determine the next mayor. Councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood have been engaged in a tough political battle since the Nov. 7 general election.

Top issues in the race have included transportation, affordable housing and ethics, including the overhang of the federal bribery investigation into city contracting. So far, two contractors and the city’s former purchasing chief have pleaded guilty as part of the federal probe.

The race for Atlanta 

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Age: 47

Resides: Southwest Atlanta

Education: Bachelor’s in communications from Florida A&M University; law degree from Georgia State University.

Work/government experience: Attorney, former judge and former executive director of Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority. Member of the Atlanta City Council.

Top issue in the race: “The biggest issue we are facing as a city right now is opportunities for our young people, including access to education and youth crime.”

Why I’m running: “It really is about what I want this city to be for my four kids. And it won’t be great for them if it is not great for everybody.”

Mary Norwood

Age: 65

Lives in: Buckhead

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University

Work/government experience: City Councilwoman; former media executive and business owner

Top issue in this race: “I think public safety is always the most important issue. It just is. People need to feel safe and be safe.”

Why I’m running: “I have the trust of citizens all over the city. My vision for the city is an equitable, fair, prosperous, sustainable city.”

When to vote

Most polls in metro Atlanta will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the runoff election.

In Fulton County and the city of Atlanta, though, voters will have an extra hour. Polls will not close there until 8 p.m. That includes the portions of Atlanta that are in DeKalb County.

Where to vote

Voters who are unsure of their voting precinct location can contact their local elections office or visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at


Voters may want to consider casting their ballots early in the day as showers are likely to hit metro Atlanta during the evening rush hour, according to WSB-TV’s Severe Weather Team 2.

For comprehensive coverage of Tuesday’s election, visit or


The AJC keeps you updated on the candidates, the issues, what voters are saying and much more. We’re your source for continued comprehensive coverage of the 2017 mayoral runoff as Atlanta returns to the polls Dec. 5.

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