Opinion: Let’s gauge our interest in council seat, third grade retention and puppies

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / A litter of puppies scratch against the door to their enclosure at McKamey Animal Center on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

Whither District 8 voters?

If the voters of Chattanooga's District 8 — in Alton Park, Avondale, Bushtown, East Chattanooga, East Lake, Eastside, Ridgedale and downtown — don't like their new council person Marvene Noel, they have no one to blame but themselves.

With only 731 of the 8,295 eligible voters in the district participating in Thursday's special election runoff between Noel and activist Marie Mott, turnout was low. So low that Noel, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year to fill the remaining term of Anthony Byrd who resigned to become the new Chattanooga City Court Clerk, won by only 70 votes. She received 400 votes to Mott's 330. There was one write-in.

Only about 8.8% of eligible voters bothered to go the polls on Sept. 15.

And frankly, not many more got out to vote in the August election when 1,202 people in District 8 cast votes.