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Election draws absentee interest

Two-thirds of Brookhaven’s municipal election mail-out absenteeballots have been received as of Monday morning, said officials inthe city clerk’s office.

So far 246 absentee ballots – either by voters in person at theclerk’s office or returned through the mail – have been cast forTuesday’s general election, said Cindy Smith of the city clerk’soffice.

Of that total, 142 ballots were cast prior to Saturday’s noondeadline for in-office absentee voting. Smith said 104 of the 149absentee ballots requested by mail have been returned.

“We’ll check with the post office today up until 5 p.m. to seeif we get any more in,” Smith said about remaining absenteeballots.

Deputy City Clerk Marsha Fairman said during the primaries,their office fielded 38 walk-in absentee ballots and 99 mail-outballots. She said she believes this year’s amount is fairly normalfor a citywide general election.

“We’re pretty busy on absentee ballots during this time,” shesaid.

In-office absentee voting ended Saturday, Fairman said. No morevotes will be accepted Monday except those that come in bymail.

“That deadline was Saturday at noon,” she said. “Whatever is inthe mail today by 5, that’s it.”

Tuesday’s general election will decide on the offices of mayor,alderman at large, and alderman in three wards.

The mayor’s office, vacated by Mayor Bob Massengill after fiveyears of service, will go either to sitting Alderman at Large LesBumgarner, an Independent, or sitting Lincoln County Board ofSupervisors President Democrat Jerry Wilson.

The alderman at large race is between Republican Karen Sullivanand Democrat Ronnie Bass.

Ward Four’s alderman race pits sitting Republican alderwomanShirley Estes, who is seeking her second full term, againstIndependent challenger David Smith.

Incumbent Democrat D.W. Maxwell will face Republican newcomerFletcher Grice in the Ward Five alderman election.

And finally, voters will choose between Democratic challengerRobert Kenny and incumbent Independent David Phillips in the WardSix alderman race.

Elections officials will count the ballots at the polls, andresults will be announced Tuesday night. They have five days tocertify the results of the elections.