Adams County turnout at 39 percent

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NATCHEZ — Approximately 39 percent of Adams County’s registered voters participated in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election.

A total of 7,171 voters cast ballots in in-person voting, while 402 voters cast absentee ballots. Adams County has 19,637 registered voters.

Election Commissioner Larry Gardner said the county would have “very few” provisional affidavit ballots cast Tuesday, and most of the absentee ballots should be counted.

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“There was a time we had to throw out a lot of absentee ballots, but the circuit clerk’s office does such a good job with absentee voting now that’s rarely the case,” he said. “They are making sure the voters fill out the paperwork correctly so we don’t have to throw it out.”

Only one local race was contested Tuesday — District 5 supervisor, which incumbent Calvin Butler won — because most were single-candidate races that were de facto decided in the August party primaries. Approximately 48.5 percent of voters cast ballots in the first primary.

Gardner said one reason fall elections sometimes see lower turnout is because students who might have voted at home during the summer months are at college and might have a more difficult time casting a ballot.

The election was largely without incident locally, though Gardner said two people showed up at the courthouse saying they were confused about the move of their voting precinct, but upon questioning, the voters admitted they had been notified about the move.

“Every single voter (in that precinct) got a new voter card with a letter telling them to destroy their old voter card because it was invalid and that the precinct had been moved,” he said.

The election commission also had to tell some self-appointed volunteers at several precincts who claimed to be poll-watchers for Initiative 42 to leave, Gardner said.

“They thought they had the right to be poll watchers for the initiative, but they didn’t,” he said. “Parties can have poll watchers, candidates can, but initiatives can’t.”

While most of the local races were for only one candidate, voters could still vote for someone else by write-in. The total number of write-in votes for district attorney were 24; for county attorney, 15; for coroner, 22; for sheriff, 42; for chancery clerk, 15; for circuit clerk, seven; for tax assessor, nine; for tax collector, three.

In the uncontested supervisors’ races, district 1 received 11 write-in votes; district 4 received five; District 3 received three; and District 4 received two.

Justice Court Northern District had seven write-in votes; Justice Court Southern District, 10; Northern District constable, seven; Southern District constable, seven; and election commissioner District 1, three.