Adams County precincts see high voter turnout; experience a few glitches

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018


NATCHEZ – Tuesday’s election had an exceptional turnout in Adams County, local election officials said.

Adams County voters cast 9,886 votes which is 52.63 percent of the county’s 18,878 registered voters, officials said.

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The number does not reflect the Liberty and Concord districts, which were not retrievable at press time due to a memory card error, which Adams County Election Commission Chair Larry Gardner said would have to be resolved through Jackson.

Commissioner Tracy Gaude said the total also does not reflect an approximate 1,000 paper ballots.

Gaude said the turnout was exceptional.

“I would have thought it was higher, but it’s usually about 32 percent. I think some of the precincts will be a lot higher than in the past,” Gaude said.

Gardner said he thinks having two U.S. Senate seats on the ballots sparked interest from people who had not voted in recent years.

“I think it’s busier than what we had in the presidential election,” Gardner said. “Based on the calls, I can say 50 percent of the people who live in Adams County have moved since the last election. The phones were ringing off the hook.”

Gardner said a record number of 826 absentee ballots were cast in Adams County, and he estimated that absentee votes usually number between 300 and 400 for a mid-term election.

Gardner said “several hundred” affidavit ballots also were cast, based on the number of phone calls received.

“We had a lot of people come out in this election who had not voted for years,” he said.

Between the affidavits, absentees and the possibility of a few rejected ballots, Gardner said election workers could have 1,000 or more votes to hand count over the next few days.

A few mishaps were reported earlier in the day, Gardner said, including a coding error in some districts that kept some people from being able to vote for the appropriate candidate in a couple of uncontested races for circuit court judge seats.

Also, a fallen tree or tree limb blocked an entrance to the voting place at Maryland Heights. Nearby, a subcontractor for Entergy was working on power lines and had blockades on the street, making it impossible to drive to the polls.

Gardner said both issues were resolved shortly after midday.