Tuesday sees low voter turnout

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

John Dillard voted at the Courthouse before taking his post as security guard of the same building.

“I voted at 1:30 p.m. today and guess what number voter I was,” he said. “Number one. I was the first Republican and four democrats had voted. I like to fell out.”

He was pleased to see the precinct picked up a bit. By the time polls closed, 35 people had voted.

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The Courthouse was far from the smallest turnout. Precinct five, Dunns Voting Center Number One holds that distinction. No one cast a vote Tuesday.

“Only three voted last month,” said Probate Judge Wes Allen.

Sesha Dunn, the poll’s inspector, said there were only about 35 voters on the roster. “They’ll turn out in November,” she said.

Allen said Tuesday’s turnout was what he expected. “It was a low turnout, five percent,” he said. “A slow day for the poll workers. I’d like to thank all of them for the job they do.”

With 34 of the 35 precincts reporting, 1,206 Pike County residents voted in Tuesday’s runoff. Of that, 1,035 voters cast a Republican ballot and 171 were nonpartisan votes for the proposed amendment.

Like the rest of Alabama, Pike County supported the amendment. Seventy-five percent (785) of local voters approved cotton farmers’ option to hold an election regarding mandatory check-ins.

Statewide, the Republican runoff for Alabama secretary of state was very close. In Pike County, Reese McKinney won by a landslide, earning 784 (77.01 percent) of the votes cast to state Rep. John Merrill’s 234 (22.99 percent). Allen said McKinney had the endorsement of his fellow county probate judges.

With 29 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, state Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa has 51 percent of the vote and former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney has 49 percent.

Merrill led in the primary June 3.

The winner advances to the general election Nov. 4 against Mobile retiree Lula Albert-Kaigler.

Mobile attorney Jim Zeigler was the overwhelming choice in Pike County earning 724 votes (73.35 percent) to Dale Peterson’s 263 (26.65 percent). After losing several close races for state office, Zeigler earned “Mr. 49 Percent” as a nickname. With 54 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, Zeigler had 66 percent to 34 percent for retired Hoover businessman Peterson.

Zeigler says his new nickname should be Lazarus because he’s had a political resurrection. He takes on Democrat Miranda Joseph of Montgomery in the general election Nov. 4.

The race for the Republican nomination for place 2 of the public service commission was between Challenger Chris “Chip” Beeker and incumbent Terry Dunn. Of all of the races, it was the closest one for Pike County voters with Beeker earning 512 (52.95 percent) of the votes and Dunn earning 455 (47.05 percent).

Statewide, with 38 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, Beeker had 58 percent to Dunn’s 42 percent.

The winner has no Democratic opposition in the general election Nov. 4.


AP News contributed to this article.