Turnout as low as expected in primary

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Voter turnout in Tuesday&8217;s Democratic Primary was about 4 percent.

Of the 20,760 registered voters in Adams County, 820 votes were cast, which is just 3.95 percent of the voting population.

At the polls there was a trickle-in effect of voters.

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At 10 a.m. at the Adams County Courthouse precinct, nine voters were listed on the poll books, Duncan Park precinct at 12:31 p.m. had 14 listed, five voters were listed at the bypass precinct at 3 p.m. and at Bellemont precinct there were 27 voters listed at 6 p.m.

Voters and poll workers blame the low turnout on the lack of campaigning done by the candidates.

&8220;There just hasn&8217;t been a lot of information about the candidates,&8221; poll worker Jacqulyn Williams said.

In Adams County, Bill Bowlin received 79 votes, Catherine M. Starr received 80 votes, James O&8217;Keefe received 160 votes and Erik Fleming carried the majority with 485 votes.

There were also two write-in votes.

Election worker, Paul Bacon, said a low turnout was expected, considering whom the winner would run against in November.

&8220;I&8217;m really appalled at the turnout. I was expecting at least 75 to 125 voters for this precinct,&8221; Bacon said. &8220;But in November the winner&8217;s up against Trent Lott, so it&8217;s probably a done deal.&8221;

Some voters, like Layfore Profice, voted just to try out the new touch-screen-voting machines.

&8220;I had heard that there was a new machine and I wanted to come out and see it,&8221; Profice said. &8220;It&8217;s a new technology and I guess I want to get used to it.&8221;

Still others, like Jackie Dennis, felt it was their duty to vote.

&8220;You&8217;re supposed to vote and it&8217;s my right,&8221; Dennis said. &8220;This is what my forefathers fought for, so I came out here to express my beliefs.&8221;

District 5 Election Commissioner Mitch Ballard said despite a few minor glitches, the new voting machines worked perfectly.

&8220;We had to turn two of the machines off and back on, early this morning, but for the most part I think all went well,&8221; Ballard said.

Bacon said voters were nervous about the new voting machines at first, but after using them laid their fears to rest.

&8220;People were truly amazed at the system and it was a really easy procedure,&8221; Bacon said. &8220;They came in wondering but walked out smiling.&8221;