[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.norwood.jpg caption="Norwood was the leader on Election Day but failed to garner 50 percent of the vote."](CNN) - Atlanta voters are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide a mayoral race that is in part characterized by its racial overtones.
Mary Norwood, a white city council woman, faces off against former state Sen. Kasim Reed, who is black. Norwood won 46 percent of the vote on November 3, 4 points short of the 50 percent she needed to secure victory outright. Failing to reach that threshold level, Norwood faced the runoff with Reed, who won 36 percent of the vote on Nobember 3.
Should Norwood win Tuesday, she will become the first White mayor of Atlanta since 1973. African Americans make up about 60 percent of the city's population while Whites constitute a little less than 40 percent.
Political observers believe it's unclear who will with the runoff given Tuesday's turnout is expected to be considerably lower than that of Election Day. Polls close at 7 p.m. ET.