Early voting off to expected slow start

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Early morning voting in Tuesday’s primary was meeting the low expectations of election officials, with relatively low turnout across the board and more Republicans than Democrats showing up at the polls.

     The major draw of Tuesday’s primary is the Republican presidential primary race. The national spotlight of the presidential race has recently turned to Mississippi, with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all making Mississippi campaign appearances in the week ahead of the Tuesday primaries.

     Polls will be open today until 7 p.m.

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     A spot check of precincts in Brookhaven Tuesday morning showed precincts that typically have higher Republican turnout reporting stronger voting numbers than other precincts. As of approximately 8:45 a.m. Halbert Heights had seen 42 voters select the Republican ballot and one voter the Democratic ballot.

     Around 8:15 a.m. at the Old Brook precinct, 31 Republicans had cast ballots but only two Democratic voters had done so.

     Other precincts trended Republican but showed somewhat less disparity. At approximately 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, 15 Republicans had voted and two Democrats, and at Lipsey, the Republican primary had seen 14 ballots cast and six Democratic ballots.

     Also about 8:30 a.m., the Northwest Brookhaven precinct records indicated four Republican votes and no Democratic votes.

     Democratic-leaning precincts showed little activity. The Government Complex precinct records showed two Democratic votes and no Republicans at approximately 8a.m. About 9 a.m., the High School precinct had four Democrat votes and no Republicans.

     In addition to president, there are contested races for House of Representatives and Senate on the Republican ballot.

     Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker faces a primary challenge from E. Allen Hathcock of Stewart and Robert Maloney of Madison.

     In the U.S. Congressional 3rd District, incumbent Gregg Harper faces Robert Allen of Sturgis in the GOP primary.

     On the Democratic side, however, the only contested race is for the Senate post. Albert N. Gore Jr., Will Oatis and Roger Weiner are running against each other to take the nomination.

     Crystal Biggs of Florence has no opposition in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congressional 3rd District.

     President Barack Obama faces no Democratic primary opponent in Mississippi.