Election turnout ‘wasn’t very good’

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — Of 11,043 registered voters in Natchez, only 32.4 percent turned out for Tuesday’s elections.

Elections commissioner Larry Gardner said the turnout was low.

“It just wasn’t very good,” he said.

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Gardner said Tuesday’s low turnout rates were likely due to more that one factor.

Gardner said since only two Wards — 3 and 5 — were electing aldermen, turnout was naturally going to be lower.

Gardner did say that Wards 3 and 5 had a strong turnout.

Gardner also said the idea that fewer black voters turned out, since there was no black mayoral candidate, had validity.

Gardner said he believed had there been a minority candidate turnout would have been better.

This year also saw fewer absentee ballots cast than the previous mayor’s race, Gardner said.

Gardner said this year had scarcely 300 absentee ballots while the last mayoral race had close to 700.

Gardner also said voter apathy plays a role in each election.

“It’s easy to get people to register,” he said. “But you can’t make them vote.”