Light turnout expected in Senate race

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Today voters will step to the polls to elect either Bobby Singleton or Thomas Moore to the State Senate for District 24. At least, that’s what everyone hopes. Recently, talks of the election have been negative as far as voter turnout is concerned. Many expect only a handful of voters to make their voices heard.

The Senate election is expected to have a very low turnout for a variety of reasons. Marengo County Probate Judge Cindy Neilson said she expected Marengo County residents to hit the polls in small volume.

“We expect a very low turnout,” Neilson said. “We hope for a high turnout, but we expect a very low one.”

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Neilson said during this busy time of year elections weren’t exactly the first thing on people’s minds.

“It is Christmas and that has a lot of people’s minds occupied,” Neilson said. “This time of year people just aren’t going to turn a lot of attention toward elections.”

Nielson also said because there is a single issue on the ballot and everyone in the county is not affected low voter turnout is inevitable.

“A District election doesn’t effect everyone in the county,” Neilson said. “It is also a single issue ballot. Both those things have a lot to do with turnout.”

Many areas of Marengo County are split.

Demopolis, Jefferson, Spring Hill and all those on the Rangeline box will vote. The old courthouse and Cornerstone Church in Linden will be split.

The line then goes down to Octagon, Wayne, Dixon Mills and Surgener who all vote. Hoboken, Lasea, Putnam, Nanafalia, Half Acre and Myrtlewood also all vote.

Nielson said most everyone in the county would vote with a few exceptions.

“We have probably five out of 22 boxes that will be split,” Neilson said. “I would say somewhere in that area.”

In Sumter County there is no mystery as to who will vote. The entire county will qualify to step to the polls. Probate Judge Willie Pearl Rice said she hopes there will be a larger turnout because of this. Rice also reminded everyone this election was no different than the others and they should have identification ready.

“Everyone in Sumter County votes,” Rice said. “We are hoping to have a high turnout. People do need to remember to have identification ready.”

Altogether, at least parts of Marengo, Choctaw, Sumter Greene Tuscaloosa, Hale Bibb and Perry Counties will have some interest in the outcome.

For those who do wish to vote the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The need for a December election came when Charles Steele resigned to pursue other interests. Steele vacated the seat in August when he resigned to work full time for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.