Voter turnout low
Few municipal voters made it to the polls Tuesday
Even considering the fact that it was not a general election year, voter turnout at Tuesday’s municipal elections was relatively low.
Only 25 percent of registered voters in Covington cast ballots compared to 36 percent four years earlier. However Tuesday’s turnout was still better than the turnout for 2005 when only 11 percent of registered voters turned out according to figures provided by the Newton County Board of Elections.
Tuesday’s figures were somewhat surprising for Covington. With Mayor Sam Ramsey not running for re- election and Council Member Roger Tingler not running for re-election for the Post 3 East Ward Seat, two formerly secure seats were wide open.
For full election coverage see Wednesday’s edition of The News or go online at www.covnews.com
Still, Covington’s registered voters list has increased in recent years thanks to many new residents who have swelled the lists from 4,919 registered voters in 2005 to 5,290 in 2007.
In Porterdale voter turnout was even lower with only 22 percent of registered voters casting ballots. However, turnout in the formerly economically depressed mill town has been low for many years with only approximately 24 percent voting in 2003 and 28 percent voting 2005.
Specific numbers for the 2003 elections were not available as the records were lost in the fire which destroyed the Porter Memorial Gym where they were stored. The Covington News had to do an approximation based on its own archives and available numbers from the Porterdale Elections Superintendent Tom Fox.
Oxford voters on average vote with greater frequency than residents in Covington and Porterdale. In 2003 a whopping 48 percent turned out to vote in the local election for a new mayor of Oxford.
This year 27 percent of registered Oxford voters cast ballots, according to Carol Poole, elections superintendent and city clerk for the city.
There were only two contested races in Oxford this year with Jerry Roseberry running uncontested for the position of mayor.
“I thought it was a good turnout,” Poole said. “We had no opposition for the mayor’s post this year. Because there was no opposition, I wasn’t expecting 27 percent.”
While Hoyt Oliver easily sailed to re-election for Council Post 3, a runoff race has been scheduled for the Council Post 1 seat between Frank Davis who captured 48.3 percent of the vote and Incumbent Amma Gaither who came in second with 27.6 percent.
The runoff election will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 4. Voters will once again cast their ballots in the Community Room, adjacent to the Volunteer Fire Department on Emory Street.