Elections almost here

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — As Tuesday’s elections draw near, those running in the election and those running the elections are busy getting prepared.

Adams County Deputy Clerk Keysha Dixon has been inundated with requests for absentee voting ballots.

“It has been really crowded today,” she said of her office at the city courthouse.

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Dixon said the clerk’s office has processed 373 early ballots.

And reasons for early votes are numerous.

Dixon said many voters she has spoken with will be out of town. But the biggest group of early voters is comprised of the elderly.

Dixon said many older citizens are unable to wait in long lines or are reluctant to use high-tech voting machines.

“Some of them just don’t like computers,” she said.

Dixon was quick to point out that while many elderly are perfectly capable of using the computer run voting machines, many are just leery of it.

“They prefer the paper ballots,” she said.

Dixon said that many elderly just don’t trust the computers.

The other group worried about paper this election season are the soon-to-be newly elected.

And the paper they’re worried about is money.

Tuesday marked the day that all campaign finance reports were due.

And some of those in the running in the board of supervisor’s election are spending big.

Charles Mike Lazarus has spent $36,307.95 on his campaign so far.

In comparison the next highest spender, Joe Eidt III, has only spent $9,666.37.

Both Eidt and Lazarus said running against an incumbent is expensive.

“Getting your name out there is hard,” Lazarus said. “But this is a crucial time.”

Lazarus said he has largely funded his own campaign.

Conversely, Eidt said his campaign has been funded mostly by contributions.

“Support has been overwhelming,” Eidt said.

Both men said there greatest expenditures have been on the written word.

Lazarus said the bulk of his spending has gone to newspaper ads and Eidt said his biggest expense has been on mail-out advertisements.

Sammy Cauthen, who has spent $8,479.29, said it is regrettable that running for office is so costly.

Cauthen has run as incumbent for the last 28 years.

Newspaper ads have also made up the bulk of Cauthen’s spending.

Henry Watts, who has spent $8,940.46, said funding, no matter the amount, is critical.

“You can’t run if you don’t raise money,” he said. “It’s just that simple.