Poll workers look for more voters later

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Early predictions by poll managers were mixed about the strengthof voter turnout for today’s general election.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today for Mississippians tocast their ballots for state, regional and local offices.

Dorothy Watkins, poll manager for the Brookhaven High Schoolprecinct, said turnout had been “fair” with approximately 15 votescast by 8:15 a.m.

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“It’ll be picking up a little later on,” she said. “They’ll becoming in later. We’re usually busier later in the afternoon.”

Watkins predicted a strong turnout based on the number of earlyvoters.

Debbie Sartin, poll manager at the Government Complex precinct,wasn’t so sure, however.

“I don’t think it’s going to be big,” Sartin said.

The Government Complex precinct had recorded 23 votes by 8:30a.m.

“That’s pretty good for this time of the morning,” Sartin said.”We’ve already seen some this time that didn’t come vote lasttime.”

Watkins and Sartin said they had no problem getting the machinesstarted this morning and the precincts opened on time.

Vanessa Collins, a deputy circuit clerk, said all precinctsappeared to avoid technical issues today and the voting process wasproceeding smoothly.

“I haven’t had any calls yet this morning,” she said.

Interest in the races on the ballot appears to be high, said RenaeLofton, a deputy circuit clerk. The Circuit Clerk’s office received599 absentee ballots before the period closed at 5 p.m. Monday.

Races on today’s ballot include state campaigns for governor,lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, stateauditor, state treasurer, commissioner of agriculture and commerceand commissioner of insurance.

Regional races on the Lincoln County ballot include southerndistrict public service commissioner, southern districttransportation commissioner, state Senate District 39 and House ofRepresentatives Districts 53 and 92.

Many of the local races were decided in the party primaries and therunoffs. However, competition remains for sheriff, supervisors inDistricts Four and Five and Justice Court Judge Post Two.