Voting straight ticket could skew results

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

John Davis’s announcement yesterday that he was withdrawing from the race for sheriff, coupled with Monday’s indictments and arrests for alleged vote-buying on a failed electronic bingo bill, politics will continue to be a hot topic in the coming weeks.

Davis, who cited personal reasons for withdrawing, leaves Republicans without a candidate for sheriff. And, as local Republican Party chair William Blocker said, opposition does promote a better democratic process.

At this point, Davis has not filed any paperwork with the county probate office to officially withdraw. Regardless, the ballots have been printed and are ready for marking on Nov. 2.

That means Davis can still draw a significant number of votes from those voting a straight ticket on Election Day.

That won’t matter if you’re one of those people who vote for the person not the party; however, for those people who like to make one mark, this is just a reminder.

Guess one could say that straight voting could throw a kink in that race. It could also mean disappointingly low numbers for the incumbent Sheriff Dennis Meeks.

The sheriff’s office is one of nine local seats up for grabs on Nov. 2. Five incumbetns in those seats are running unopposed, including state Sen. Jimmy Holley.

There are only three local races where there is opposition between parties, district attorney, coroner and state representative.

In the DA’s race, Democrat Greg Gambril (I) faces Republican Walt Merrell. In the coroner’s race, it’s Democrat Norman Hobson (I) versus Republican Wilson “Eddie” Rowell.

However, in our state representative race, there are three candidates – Democrat David Darby, Republican Mike Jones Jr. and Independent candidate Don Cotton. That makes things a little more interesting.

Then, let’s not forget former Florala Mayor Glen Zorn (D) who is facing John McMillan on the ticket for Commissioner of Agriculture and those for governor, lt. governor, U.S. representative, attorney general and all the others.

In my opinion, when you add all the seats that are on the ballot, I have no idea why people would want to straight ticket in the first place. As you can tell, I’m a “vote for the person, not the party” kind of person.

It is now less than one month until Election Day. Use this time wisely to study the candidates and make an informed decision on the people you want representing this county and this state.

If don’t, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself for not casting your ballot.