Early voting turnout is mixed

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Early turnout for Tuesday’s general election was mixed acrossthe city with ward alderman races drawing voter attention, andlocations without ward races attracting small crowds.

A race for the Ward 4 Alderman seat appeared to be sparking themost voter interest — over 200 people had voted before 9 a.m. Twowell-known residents, Republican Bob Massengill and Democrat JerryCase, are vying for the seat being vacated by John Roberts, today’sRepublican mayoral candidate.

“They’re coming in fine,” said Ward 4 Poll Manager JanetMoreton. “We haven’t had a big rush, but it’s been constant.”

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Moreton said there were a number of voters waiting to vote whenthe polls opened at 7 a.m. She indicated some of the turnout wasdue to the alderman race.

“They’re coming for that and for the mayor,” Moreton said. “It’sa good contest.”

Other wards reported turnout of less than 100 voters before 9a.m.

In Wards 5 and 6, where incumbent aldermen are facingchallengers, turnout was around 75 people.

“I think it’s good for this time of day,” said Ward 6 ManagerLena Henderson.

In Ward 6, incumbent Democrat Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen isfacing Republican Keith Peden.

“It’s going along smooth. We haven’t had any questions orproblems,” Henderson said.

In Ward 5, incumbent Democrat Tom Smith is facing Republican andformer alderman John Richardson.

“It’s going great, I think,” said Ward 5 Manager DorothyLofton.

In the only city-wide race today, Roberts is facing incumbentDemocrat Bill Godbold and Independent Percy Rauls. Godbold isseeking a sixth term as mayor.

In wards with only the mayor’s race, turnout was slow shortlyafter 8 a.m. Voters totals in Wards 1, 2 and 3 were in the 20s and30s.

“Maybe it’ll pick up this afternoon after people get off work,”said Dorothy Watkins in Ward 1, where 21 people had voted.

Poll workers in other wards described turnout as pretty good andnormal.

“We were real excited at the turnout this early,” said RosieForrest in Ward 3, which had 38 voters at 8:30 a.m. “It’s beenbusier than normal.”

Maude Davis, in Ward 2, said the 28 voters by around 8:20 a.m.was normal. She was optimistic that turnout would improvelater.

“We’re hopeful that if the weather if fine, we’ll good prettygood,” Davis said.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. Votes will be counted at theindividual wards and then brought to the City Clerk’s office to beturned in.