Voting Update: No lines, Lee officials say

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Voting was light across Lee County by noon, election officials say.

A spot check of precincts showed two-thirds of them with below-normal voting and one third about average.

No one said voting is strong, including Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin.

“It looks fair,” she observed, saying her office also isn’t seeing any special problems in the party primary elections for statewide, district and county offices.

At the old Lee County Courthouse in downtown Tupelo, some 150 people had voted by noon, with the ballots split fairly evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

At St. James Catholic Church in north Tupelo, a heavily GOP precinct, only 108 were counted near noon with fewer than a dozen for Democrats.

South in Verona City Hall, the voting looked “about normal,” poll workers for both parties said, although Democrats were ahead of Republicans by noon.

One older woman, leaving St. James after casting her vote, said a light turnout could be blamed on the debt-ceiling fight in Washington.

“I’m just disgusted with everybody,” she said. “I’m not surprised if everybody else isn’t, too.”

Across the state, turnout estimates varied.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m.

In DeSoto County, District 1 Election Commissioner Paul Beale said turnout at a precinct he visited in the morning was light — about 186 votes cast where about 2,700 were registered. In Hinds County, Elections Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran described turnout as average, with lines at some precincts, no lines at others.

Officials reported a few problems in some areas: In Hinds County some voters had to use paper ballots after machines didn’t provide proper ballots. At a Madison County precinct, paper ballots were used until a technician could fix the machines. One Hinds precinct didn’t open on time, the Secretary of State’s Office said.

The AP contributed to this report.

Join us for election results tonight.