Light voter turnout

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Messenger Intern

Emma McGuire wished she could be have been swatting at voters the way she was swatting at flies during the Tuesday voter dry spell.

However, the voters were few and far between and swatting flies probably became a form of entertainment before too long.

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Each polling post became eerily familiar as poll workers became increasingly anxious to do some work and the voters increasingly decreased.

And it might even be said that Pike County voters are record breakers, even though the record broken was for the lowest turnout in the county’s history- or at least in memory.

The voter turnout for primary runoff was 8 percent, which means, out of the 16,311 registered voters in the county, 1,309 of them cast a vote yesterday.

"Actually, I was expecting more. I can’t say for sure, but I think this may be a record," said Probate Judge Bill Stone.

Stone said he expected at least a 15 percent turnout.

According to Stone, the turnout is significantly lower when there are not any local races on the ballot. Had there been a local race in the runoff, he would not have been surprised to see at least a 20 percent turnout.

As of midday, the courthouse, which is considered to have one of the heaviest turnouts in the county, reported a voter turnout of 27.

According to Donna Fannin, chief probate clerk, that is "pretty low" for the courthouse.

"They slipped I there in one’s and two’s, but there just wasn’t very many one’s and two’s. The people just didn’t come out and vote like they should’ve," said Mary Holland, a poll worked stationed at the courthouse.

"People are losing their rights and they don’t even know it. It is a privilege to vote and people are throwing it away. It’s sickening," said Nellie Adkinson, a poll worker at Park Memorial Baptist Church.

There are more than 1,500 registered voters in Adkinson’s precinct, and, as of noon, the post had attracted 29 voters.

Adkinson described the turnout as being the worst she has ever seen during her many years of working the polls. Even through her experience with voting world and her interacting with voters, she was unable to pinpoint the reason why voters are not exercising their right to vote.

Whereas the Republican turnout was greater than the Democratic turnout in the primary, the 862 Democrats showed up at the polls over the 447 Republicans who made an appearance in the runoff.

The local results are as follows:

For U.S. Senator in the Democratic race, Susan Parker collected 51.6 percent of the votes.

For Secretary of State in the Democratic race, Nancy L. Worley won with 57.3 percent of the votes.

For State Treasurer in the Democratic race, Stephen Black won with 52.9 percent of the votes.

For State Auditor in the Democratic race, Carolyn Gibson won with 72.3 percent of the votes.

For Secretary of State in the Republican race, Dave Thomas won with 67.6 percent of the votes.

For State Treasurer in the Republican race, Kay Ivey won with 81.2 percent of the votes.

For State Auditor in the Republican race, Beth Chapman won with 55.7 percent of the votes.