Voting light in clerk runoff

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Early morning voting in the circuit clerk’s runoff was rolling along smoothly Tuesday morning at county voting precincts, election officials said.

     “We haven’t had hardly any calls,” said interim Circuit Clerk Sherry Jordan.

     As of mid-morning, Jordan said she’d heard of only one problem with a voting machine, which was being addressed.

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     Facing off against each other are Dustin Bairfield and Janie Sisco, the top two vote-getters from the Nov. 6 general election.

     Other than the circuit clerk matchup, there are no other races on today’s ballot, a fact officials have said should result in relatively low turnout. Tuesday’s dreary weather may also depress vote totals.

     “I’m afraid with it raining it might kind of hinder voting,” Jordan said.

     The Halbert Heights precinct, for example, was reporting 66 votes at approximately 9:30 a.m., a somewhat low number for the precinct that typically has among the highest vote totals in the county.

     Election officials had scaled back in expectation of fewer voters, with only two electronic voting machines at each precinct and a reduction in poll workers.

     Jordan estimated there are right at or a little under 200 absentee ballots to count. The interim clerk hoped this would make quick work of counting the votes Tuesday night.

     “I don’t think it will take long,” Jordan said.

     The new clerk will take office once the election is certified, which could happen as early as Wednesday if there aren’t large numbers of affidavit ballots to count.

     The new clerk will serve the remaining three years of the term won in 2011 by Terry Lynn Watkins. Watkins subsequently resigned from office in January, only a week into that term.

     In the Nov. 6 general election, Bairfield came in first among the field of eight candidates with 27 percent of the vote. Sisco captured second place with 15 percent of the vote.

     Bairfield is currently a captain with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Sisco served until this year as a member of the county election commission.