Few problems with election

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

REGION – Most probate judges across the area say little or no problems were experienced in Tuesday’s special state senate election.

Demopolis Councilman Thomas Moore and Hale County State Rep. Bobby Singleton edged out Tuscaloosa County State Rep. Bryant Melton and head to a run off on Dec. 14.

Moore garnered 7,194 votes, or 41.4 percent to Singleton’s 7,039 (40.4 percent). Melton gained only 3,157 votes, or 18.2 percent.

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The special election was prompted by the resignation of former State Sen. Charles Steele, who accepted a full-time position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The election drew slightly more than 17,000 voters across eight counties that had 88,000 eligible voters according to the 2000 census.

“No doubt the turnout was very light,” said Greene County Probate Judge Earlean Isaac. “It didn’t seem like there was a heated issue in the race. It was so quiet.”

Indeed, it seemed that at least Moore and Melton campaigned on the issue of voter turnout. Both ran vans to carry people to the polls.

More than 35,000 people are eligible voters in the Tuscaloosa County portion of the district – roughly 40 percent of the votes in District 24. Only 3,110 cast votes.

Isaac, who had talked over the election with other probate judges in district, said low turnout was repeated throughout the area.

“The Marengo turnout was a little better, but there was someone local for people to vote for,” she said.

Moore carried Marengo, Sumter, Greene and Bibb counties. Singleton carried his home county of Hale, as well as Perry and Choctaw counties.

Melton captured the lead in only Tuscaloosa County. He was only a few votes behind Moore in Bibb County.

Isaac said the turnout would have to step up in the runoff election.

“Every vote will be crucial in the runoff,” she said.