Runoff voting off to slow start

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The trend of low voter turnout in runoffelections was holding true in Lincoln County precincts Tuesdaymorning.

    Polls will be open until 7 p.m.

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    A spot check of precincts showed low turnout numbers with a fewnotable high spots.

    The Government Complex precinct reported 14 Democratic votes and noRepublican votes as of approximately 8 a.m. By 8:30 a.m. the CityHall precinct had recorded seven Republican votes and fiveDemocratic votes, and the Ole Brook precinct’s records showed 51Republican votes and 13 Democratic votes.

    At approximately 8:45 a.m., Northwest Brookhaven had seen 10 voterseach for the Democratic and Republican ballots. Halbert Heightsreported 10 Democratic votes and 63 Republican votes.

    However, absentee voting for the runoff has proved an exception tolow turnout trends, with more than 700 absentee ballots collected.Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins said that is the most absenteevotes in a runoff election she has seen in her four terms asclerk.

    In some precincts, absentee voting rates were higher than in theAug. 2 primary elections. Northwest Brookhaven had 10 absenteevotes, slightly above the eight absentee ballots cast in thatprecinct in the Aug. 2 primaries.

    The increased absentee ballots excepted, Northwest Brookhaven pollworker Cindy Townsend said that voting rates were normal comparedto other runoff elections she has worked in.

    There were no reports Tuesday morning of any problems at precincts- a relief to poll workers and party officials after themalfunction-ridden Aug. 2 primaries.

    “We had everything we needed and were ready to go by 6:30 (a.m.),”Townsend said.

    On Monday afternoon, when party leaders gathered at the LincolnCounty/Brookhaven Government Complex and prepared to pack theprecinct supply bags, they had some help. Members of the LincolnCounty Teenage Republicans were on hand with inventory lists andwere determined to ensure accuracy in the process.

    “I think this is a great opportunity for our kids to see behind thescenes of an election,” said Cindy Moore, sponsor of the LincolnCounty Republicans. “I do not think there will be any problems thistime.”     

    The lone local race on the Republican ballot is the Senate District39 runoff between Bill Boerner and Sally Doty. The Democraticcandidate is W.L Rayborn, who will run against the Republicanwinner.

    Most local races are on the Democratic ballot: Incumbent TerryBrister faces challenger Donald Case in the superintendent race.The winner will take the office, as there are no othercandidates.

    Incumbent Kelly Porter and Clint Earls are competing for constablePost One. There are no Republican or independent candidates, so therace will be settled Tuesday.

    For supervisor District Two, incumbent Bobby Watts is runningagainst Jimmy Diamond. The supervisor District Four race pitsincumbent Doug Moak against Eddie Brown.

    With no other candidates in the race, both supervisor races will besettled Tuesday.

    The constable Post Two race features incumbent W. Lavon Boy andTroy Floyd. The winner will face Republican Kirby Ebbers andindependent Gary Dickerson in the Nov. 8 general election.

    Becky Bartram and Rita Wilkinson Goss are competing for the taxassessor and collector office. The winner will face Republican MikeJinks and independent Mavis Henderson Stewart.

    Ralph Boone, the incumbent, and Joe Portrey are the justice courtjudge Post One candidates. Art Likens, the Republican candidate,and Raymond Boutwell, an independent, will meet the winner in theNovember general election.

    Carl Brown and Roger Martin are vying for justice court judge PostTwo. Republican Chris King waits for the winner in November.