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Mayor, city clerk races on ballot today

Voter turnout in Tuesday’s special election for mayor and cityclerk was off to a good early morning start in some wards, while itwas a little off the pace in others, poll workers said.

“It’s been good so far,” said Dorothy Lofton, Ward Five pollmanager at the chamber of commerce building.

In Ward Five, 25 people had voted by 7:40 a.m.

“We’re expecting a big crowd,” Lofton said. “I’ve been toldwe’re going to be busy, and we have been.”

In today’s non-partisan special election, current Ward FourAlderman Bob Massengill, former Alderman John Roberts and SamDodds, a securities trader, are facing off in the mayor’s race. Ifno candidate receives a majority, a runoff will be held Tuesday,May 25.

In the city clerk’s race, office bookkeeper Mike Jinks and MandySproles Dann, accounts payable/payroll administrator for the HumanPerformance Company, are the candidates. One will be declared thewinner today.

Polls will be open Tuesday until 7 p.m.

Voter turnout in Ward Four, home of four of the five candidatesin today’s races, was on an early-morning record pace. In thatward, 37 people had voted in less than an hour at BrookhavenElementary School, said Janet Moreton, poll manager.

“It’s better than it’s ever been at this time,” Moreton said.”The way it’s going, we’re expecting a big turnout.”

Moreton also commented on the number of Ward Four absenteeballots, 48, that have been cast.

“There’s a lot of interest in this election,” Moreton said.

Voting in Wards Six and One trailed that of other areas.

“It’s sort of slow,” said Clyde Case, poll manager for Ward Sixat Mamie Martin Elementary.

Poll workers in Ward One, at the Cloverdale Acres administrativebuilding, said turnout was “slim” with only nine votes cast byaround 8:30 a.m.

“I hope it’ll be a good turnout, but I’m not sure,” said DorothyWatkins, poll manager.

Poll workers in Wards Two and Three offered differing opinionsabout turnout, although both had had 30 ballots cast by around 8:45a.m.

“It’s good for this time of day,” said Maude Davis, Ward Twopoll manager at Alexander Junior High School.

Davis said mornings are good times, but she was expecting morevoters later in the day.

“Our busiest time is in the evening when people get off work,”Davis said.

John S. Smith, bailiff for Ward Three at the government complex,lamented his area’s vote total.

“We should have more than this,” Smith said of the 30-votetotal. “It’s always slow in elections now. People don’t turnout.”

The mayoral special election winner will succeed Bill Godbold,who resigned April 1. The city clerk winner will follow Iris RudmanSmith, who also resigned last month.

Winners are expected to take office in June. They will serve theremainder of the terms through June 2005.

Bonita Bullock, Brookhaven Election Commission chairwoman, wasin the process of checking polling places Tuesday morning. Shereported no problems.

“It’s about normal,” Bullock said. “There’s nobody waiting inline.”