County had large turnout for runoff
Published 7:00 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018
More than 45 percent of Warren County’s registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s runoff election, and county election officials said the high profile special Senate race between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith was the reason.
According to records from the Circuit Clerk’s office, 47.28 percent, or 15,073 of Warren County’s 31,881 registered voters cast ballots in the runoff. The total includes 248 affidavit ballots and 848 absentee ballots. Circuit Clerk Jan Hyland Daigre said the number does not include four ID ballots, which will not be counted until Wednesday.
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In the Nov. 6 general election, according to the clerk’s final report, 61.65 percent, or more than about 19,500 of the county’s registered voters, went to the polls. That number included 1,500 absentee ballots, 400 affidavit ballots and four ID ballots.
“There was a lot of interest in that; we were expecting a good turnout,” Daigre said.
“We were expecting a good return of voters because of so much interest statewide in this election,” Election Commission Sara Carlson Dionne said.
“I’m thankful that so many people came out to vote,” Dionne said. “The people are caring about the voting process. Our next election is in August with primaries for (state and county offices); a huge ballot for next year.”
Espy takes county
Espy and Hyde-Smith were campaigning to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired from the Senate for health reasons. The race received state and national interest. According to incomplete and unofficial returns, Espy won Warren County, getting 7,957 votes to 7,081 for Hyde-Smith. Statewide, Hyde-Smith had 479,278 votes to 410,693 for Espy to win the runoff.
Besides the senate race, voters also cast ballots for state District 85 representative and state Court of Appeals District 2 Place 1. In the District 85 race, Jo Ann Collins-Smith carried Warren County with 752 votes to 708 for Jeffery Harness. Harness won the election to fill the unexpired term of America “Chuck” Middleton, who resigned the seat in August.
District 85 includes the southern part of Warren County.
Deborah McDonald carried Warren County and the rest of area encompassing state Appeals Court District 2 Place 1 to win the seat vacated by former Justice Tyree Irving, who retired from the bench and did not seek re-election. McDonald had 8,196 votes to 4,731 for Eric Charles Hawkins to win in Warren County.