Half of county’s voters turn out in presidential election

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

The voter turnout in Warren County for Tuesday’s presidential election marked the third time since 2008 at least 50 percent of the county’s registered voters turned out to cast ballots in the national election.

A total of 16,738 or 50 percent of the county’s 33,427 registered voters, cast votes at the polls Tuesday.

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By contrast, only about 36 percent of the county’s registered voters turned out for the last countywide elections in 2014.

“Presidential elections have always seemed to bring out the voters more so than the county elections for some reason,” Circuit Clerk Jan Hyland Daigre said.

In 2008, 57.74 percent of the county’s registered voters turned out to cast ballots for president and for contested local elections for school district trustee and election commissioner.

In 2012, 57.28 percent of the registered voters cast their choices for president, school district trustee and election commissioner.

Unlike Tuesday’s election, where Donald Trump carried the county, the majority of county voters in 2012 selected President Barack Obama, marking the first election since 1944 a Democratic presidential candidate carried Warren County. President Franklin Roosevelt carried the county in 1944.

Daigre said Thursday the 50 percent turnout has increased with the final tallies of the absentee ballots, which were counted Wednesday.

“The turnout now is up to about 53 percent,” she said. “It could go higher once we complete counting the affidavit ballots.”

County election officials began counting the affidavit ballots Thursday, but suspended the count Friday because of the Veterans Day holiday.

Affidavit ballots are filed by people who say they are registered to vote at a precinct but their name is not listed in the poll book at the precinct where they are trying to vote.

During the count, each ballot must be verified to show the voter is a registered voter and eligible to vote.

“The affidavit ballot count is expected to be completed this week,” Daigre said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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