County voter turnout low, in line with state

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When it came to Tuesday’s Primary Runoff results, Pike County voters fell mostly in line — though the voters were few.

Only 17 percent of the county’s registered voters went to the polls Tuesday, a number that fell within prediction range.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Probate Judge Wes Allen. “But, I anticipated it would be lower than the June 1 primary. I just didn’t know exactly what it was going to be.”

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The 17 percent, 3,305 voters, were less than the 26 percent that came to vote on June 1, though the weather conditions were much less favorable in that election that had power outages in three polling locations.

Those who did vote in Pike County voted overwhelmingly Republican, with more than 90 percent of the votes cast on the GOP ticket.

The high turnout perhaps was because of the interest on the governor race between Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley, said Pike County Republican Party Chair Adam Drinkwater.

“I think the interest in the governor’s race had a lot to do with who turned up to vote,” Drinkwater said.

The Democratic ballot in Pike County only had one race for the Attorney General’s seat to choose, something Pike County Democrat Party Chair Jerry Williams attributes to the less than 10 percent Democratic turnout.

“There was only one candidate to vote for in Pike County,” Williams said, referring to the AG’s race between James Anderson and Giles Perkins.

“It’s a very important race, but it just didn’t generate a lot of voter interest. It’s understandable because other than TV there wasn’t a lot of local ads,” Williams said. “I just hope people are saving up their voting for November.”

The 307 people who did cast votes in the Democratic race joined the majority of the state in electing Anderson for the AG nominee. In Pike County, Anderson led the race 224 to Perkins’ 83. Statewide, Anderson led with 60 to Perkins’ 40 percent. Anderson will face Republican Luther Strange for the open AG seat in November.

And, Republicans who likely were interested in the governor’s race, followed suit also in electing Bentley as the governor nominee.

Pike County case 1,782 votes for Bentley, compared to Byrne’s 1,202 local votes. Bentley won the race with 56 percent of the votes statewide to Byrne’s 44. Bentley will face Democrat Ron Sparks for the open governor’s seat in November.

Also in line was the election of Martha Roby for the Second Congressional Candidate seat.

Roby led her opponent Rick Barber in Pike County with 1,769 votes compared to Barber’s 1,107.

Roby, who won with 60 percent of the vote in the district, will face Democrat incumbent Bobby Bright in November.

Pike County voters overwhelmingly cast votes for Twinkle Cavanaugh in the race for Public Service Commission Place 1. She ousted her opponent Stephen Evans locally, carrying 2,005 of Pike County votes compared to Evans’ 793.

Statewide, Cavanaugh won with 62 percent of the state’s votes. She will face Democrat incumbent Jan Cook in the Nov. 2 general election.

Agriculture Commission candidate Dorman Grace, who has local ties, carried Pike County well with 2,055 votes to his opponent John McMillan’s 810.

That was the only race the county didn’t follow the state majority in, as McMillan led Grace narrowly with 52 percent of the vote.

Allen said overall the election day went off without a hitch once again.

“I want to thank all the poll workers and election officials for their help,” Allen said.

Though these are the unofficial election results, Pike County’s totals will likely remain unchanged as only one provisional ballot was cast locally.