Small doesn’t describe voter turnout

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

Small may describe the municipalities conducting elections on Tuesday in the Tri-County region.

But it wouldn’t be accurate for the turnout.

The region’s largest city, Henderson, managed a meager 14.79 percent turnout for the Oct. 8 ballot despite head-to-head competition for each of four council seats.

This week, all seven municipalities within The Dispatch delivery area topped that mark, including five that doubled the participation rate and exceeded 30 percent.

The competitions included a three-way mayoral race in Oxford involving the incumbent, a former state House representative and a current city commissioner. It also included a Warrenton ballot with competition for mayor and eight candidates vying for three commissioner seats.

Of the seven municipalities conducting elections, Warrenton was second in percentage at 36.54 percent and Oxford was fifth at 30.23 percent.

Middleburg led with 40.86 percent.

The two significantly behind in voter turnout had uncontested races for mayor and commissioner seats: Stovall (20.81 percent) and Kittrell (19.13 percent). Yet both were better than Henderson, which had more than 10,000 registered to vote.

Warren County being the leader in the Tri-County is something of a trend. The county had 35.32 percent participation, with Norlina (34.54 percent) and Macon (30.93 percent) also well beyond the state norm of 14.37 percent in the 94 counties participating on Tuesday.

Vance’s two municipal elections Tuesday had a combined 29.13 percent turnout and Granville had 21.71 percent.

Combining Henderson’s Oct. 8 election with Middleburg and Kittrell on Tuesday, Vance County had 15.07 percent turnout for the 2013 municipal elections.

In an election last November with many more races on the ballot, including federal and state seats, Warren County had 72 percent turnout, with Granville County 71.8 percent and Vance County 68 percent.

 

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.