Few voters bother to turn out

Published 11:10 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It was a frustrating day for poll workers Tuesday as few of Marengo County’s registered voters showed up to cast their ballots in the primary runoff election.

Perhaps it was apathy? Perhaps, in a largely Democratic-leaning county, voters didn’t care about races that largely held significance for Republicans.

In all, only 1,384 of approximately 14,000 registered voters in the county turned out to the polls.

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Of those votes cast, only 225 were for Republicans.

Workers at several polls in Demopolis commented on the low turnout. Poll workers at the civic center reported “only eight or 10” before 5 p.m.

With 417 of 418 precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Jay Love the winner over Harri Anne Smith in the District 2 GOP runoff to determine a possible Republican successor to retiring Congressman Terry Everett.

Love carried 53 percent of the vote compared to Smith’s 47 percent, with 25,124 votes to Smith’s 22,404.

He will now move on to a November contest against Democratic nominee Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright.

In the U.S. Congressional District 5 runoff, Wayne Parker defeated Cheryl Guthrie.

Parker netted 79 percent of the vote, with 16,028 votes compared to 21 percent for Guthrie, who amassed only 4,330 votes.

The voter turnout was low for local races as well.

Marengo County District 4 Commissioner Calvin Martin won an easy percentage victory over challenger Wayne Leonard.

Martin won with a little more than 69 percent of the vote, but the actual turnout wasn’t that strong, with only 802 votes for Martin and 357 for Leonard.

But those were good numbers compared to county numbers for the state elections.

Beth Kellum won the runoff for the GOP nomination for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, 162 to 57 over Lucie McLemore.

Matt Chancey, who was seeking the GOP nomination for president of th e state’s Public Service Commission.

Chancey garnered only 75 votes in the county, compared to 148 for statewide winner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.