Write-ins show creativity of Warren County voters|[11/11/07]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 11, 2007

While most voters in Warren County stayed home on Election Day — about 36 percent of registered voters cast ballots — some who showed up at polling places got creative with the write-in choices allowed by the new touch-screen voting machines.

Some candidates won handily, some squeaked by, but many other names surfaced when printouts of write-in votes were made available after Tuesday’s election.

Among the comedy of choices for the state’s top office were Mr. Bojangles, Santa Claus and the ever-popular John Doe. On a couple of ballots, the words “Mickey Mouse” was written, and, in the tax collector’s race, notorious gangster Bugsy Segall received one vote.

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As Attorney General Jim Hood cruised to victory statewide and in Warren County over attorney Al Hopkins, names such as Mojo, and Warren County District Attorney-elect Ricky Smith appeared. Not to be outdone, ousted District Attorney Gil Martin also picked up a vote for the state’s top attorney.

Other oddities that popped up as alternative choices to Democrats and Republicans included Vicksburg Post sportswriter Ernest Bowker for Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce, Post executive editor Charlie Mitchell for circuit clerk, former Vicksburg mayor and current administrative official for the City of Jackson Robert Walker for commissioner of insurance and District 3 supervisor.

Local restaurant operator Joyce May Clingan picked up a vote to represent the city-based district as well, leading to bursts of laughter from the Walnut Hills owner when notified.

Former E-911 Dispatch Director Geoffrey Greetham picked up votes for both circuit clerk and chancery clerk.

“I guess somebody believed in me,” Greetham said upon learning of the unexpected calls for support.

Another popular pair of candidates were “N/A” and “Anyone Else,” which picked up 23 votes for offices up and down the ballot.

Races for chancery clerk and coroner, which featured unopposed incumbents Dot McGee and Doug Huskey, led the way in the number of write-in votes in a single office, with 29 each. Among supervisor races, the District 3 supervisor contest won by unopposed incumbent Charles Selmon garnered 17. By contrast, the tight race in District 4 saw just one write-in vote.

In all, 308 write-in votes were on the ballots of the 12,524 who voted.