Time to vote: Polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poll worker C.C. Harper puts absentee ballots and other paperwork into her bag that was locked and secured before transport to the Ward 3 precinct at the Elks Lodge on Lower Woodville Road.

NATCHEZ — Voters are heading to the polls today for the city’s primary election to cast votes for the Democratic candidates they want to see go on to the June general election and elect two aldermen and a city clerk.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Independent and Republican party candidates in the city elections will not appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

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Sue Stedman, chairman of the local Republican party, said the party chose not have a primary election because no Republican candidate is contested by another Republican.

Stedman said if a voter chooses to vote Democrat in the primary, they must vote Democrat in the event of a primary runoff election, but do not have to vote Democrat in the general election.

If a runoff is needed, it will be May 15.

Democratic, Republican and independent candidates will all appear on the June 5 general election ballot, and a voter may vote for a mix of Democrats, Republicans and independents then.

Larry Gardner, election commission chairman, said the commission estimates approximately 55 to 75 percent of the approximately 10,000 registered voters will show up at the polls today.

Gardner said he can typically somewhat predict the election day voter turnout based on the number of absentee ballots that come in before the election. He said based on the 297 ballots the city received, he thinks voter turnout will be lower than he initially anticipated for this highly anticipated election.

“I was hoping (this election) would bring would bring most people to the polls, but I’m not so sure people are going to show up today,” he said.

Gardner said he hopes he is wrong, and he said voters should keep in my mind that the recent race for the District 4B seat on the Concordia Parish Police Jury was decided by just one vote.

“So yes, Virginia, your vote does count,” he said. “But yours can’t count if you don’t vote.”

Polling locations are as follows:

• Ward 1: Natchez City Council Chambers

• Ward 2: Frazier Primary School

• Ward 3: Elks Lodge on Lower Woodville Road

• Ward 4: Union Hall

• Ward 5: National Guard Armory on Liberty Road

• Ward 6: Duncan Park Canteen

The candidates who will appear on Tuesday’s ballot are:


• Larry L. “Butch” Brown

• Jake Middleton

• Phillip West

Ward 1 Alderman

• Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis

• Kathy Traina

Ward 2 Alderman

• Billie Joe Frazier

• James “Rickey” Gray

Ward 3 Alderman

• Gwen Ball

• Sarah Carter Smith

Ward 4 Alderman

• Ernest “Tony” Fields

Ward 5 Alderman

• Mark Fortenbery

Ward 6 Alderman

• Dianne P. Brown

• Dan Dillard

City Clerk

• Temple Hendricks

• Donnie Holloway

Municipal Judge

• Jim Blough

If you do not know which ward you live in, call Natchez City Hall at 601-445-7500.

The online edition of The Natchez Democrat will provide daily updates today before polls close and live election results tonight as results are tallied. For up-to-the-minute election updates and information, visit natchezdemocrat.com.

For full information on candidates, coverage of political forums and interviews with all candidates in the municipal elections, visit the website’s Election 2012 page.