Low turnout expected in court runoff

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 18, 2000

Even though more than 63 percent of Adams County’s registered voters cast ballots in last week’s presidential race, election officials expect a low voter turnout Tuesday for a runoff between Supreme Court candidates Oliver Diaz and Keith Starrett.

The two are in a nonpartisan runoff for the District 2 spot on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

&uot;I think (voter turnout is) going to be very low,&uot; said M.L. &uot;Binkey&uot; Vines, circuit clerk of Adams County.

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&uot;Realistically, I think that you might have 20 percent.&uot;

So far, the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s office has received only 36 absentee ballots for this election, court officials said.

It received nearly 1,000 absentee ballots for the general election last week.

Diaz led the ballots in Adams County last week, receiving 6,220 or 47.14 percent of the total votes, according to certified results.

Starrett did well statewide but trailed far behind Diaz in Adams County. He earned only 2,607 votes or 19.76.

Billy Joe Landrum, a third candidate who did not qualify for the runoff, scored higher locally earning 4,272 votes or 32.37 percent.

Vines thinks this year’s undecided presidential race may play a factor in low voter turnout Tuesday.

&uot;People are really tired right now of elections,&uot; Vines said.

&uot;They’re ready to move on.&uot;

But the influence of the Florida Supreme Court on the presidential election will hopefully show voters why this is an important race, Vines said.

&uot;You have two good candidates running, and they deserve our time to go and vote,&uot; Vines said.

In-office absentee voting ended Saturday. The circuit clerk’s office must receive all mailed absentee ballots by 5 p.m. Monday.

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