Rain won’t stop voters

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today’s forecast of thunderstorms could bring a flood, although it won’t be one in the form of precipitation – it’ll be in the form of ballots as locals head to the polls for the 2010 General Election.

Local election officials said Monday that today’s 60 percent chance of thunderstorms won’t adversely affect voter turnout.

For more than 20 years, Dalton Barton has served as a poll worker in Andalusia. He said in those 20 years, he’s seen both good turnout and bad turnout.

“But none that was really, really affected by the weather,” Barton said. “I can’t remember a time when extreme weather had a bad effect locally (on turnout). We had low turnout during the (June primary), and it was beautiful out.

“I think the interest level in (today’s) race has more to do with turnout than anything,” he said. “I think the day’s rain is going to be sporadic, which is more than enough time for people to come in and vote between the showers.”

Barton’s Gantt counterpart, Judy Kelly, agrees. She has been a poll worker for more than 10 years, the last four of which she has served as chief poll inspector.

“I believe that both the weather and the candidates play off one another,” she said. “If someone is going to vote, they’re going to vote whether it’s pouring rain or not. Now, on the other hand, there’s some who won’t come out in the rain at all because they say it’s not important enough to cast a ballot. That’s the wrong idea. Every vote counts.”

On the ballot includes the race for governor between Ron Sparks (D) and Robert Bentley(R); for lt. governor between Jim Folsom Jr. (D) and Kay Ivey (R); for U.S. Representative between Bobby Bright (D) and Martha Roby (R); for attorney general between James H. Anderson (D) and Luther Strange (R); and a host of other statewide tickets.

Local races include state representative, district No. 92, among David S. Darby (D), Mike Jones Jr. (R) and Don Cotton (I); for district attorney between Greg Gambril (D-Incumbent) and Walt Merrell (R); and for coroner between Norman Hobson (D-Incumbent) and Wilson “Eddie” Rowell (R).

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Charles Jackson and Dalton Barton begin preparations for today’s General Election. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News