Lackluster turnout expected for Tuesday's election

TUPELO – Low voter turnout is expected in Tuesday’s general election, according to voting officials at City Hall.
Interim City Clerk Kim Hanna said the staff anticipates roughly the same number of ballots will be cast this week as were in the May 5 primary election. That election drew 18 percent of the city’s registered voters – or 6,092 individuals, which itself was a low turnout compared to the previous primary four years earlier.
“We ordered triple the number of ballots just to be on the safe side,” Hanna said, “but we’re expecting the same number as the primary.”
Tupelo voters on Tuesday will select a new mayor and six members of the City Council. In the mayor’s race, Democrat Doyce Deas and Republican Jack Reed Jr. are facing off to succeed Ed Neelly, who decided against running for a second term.
In the council races, one was decided in the primary runoff, when Jonny Davis won the Ward 5 seat over incumbent Bill Martin.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Interest remains steady between the primary and general elections, judging on the number of absentee ballots cast at City Hall. Hanna said she has received an average of 50 per day.
If the previous election offers any clue as to voting patterns, however, the general election could draw even fewer people than the primary.
The 2005 primary election drew 7,099 to the polls, but that year’s general election saw only 4,852 ballots cast – a nearly 32 percent decline in turnout.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz