3K new voters registered

Published 3:21 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

If new registered voters and absentee ballots are any indication, Covington County residents are interested in the 2016 General Election.

Sabrina Lee of the Board of Registrars said registrars have registered approximately 3,000 new voters. Having the forms available online has been a help, she said.

And the county’s qualified electors are busy voting. Circuit Clerk Amy Jones, whose office oversees absentee voting, said more than 800 people have cast absentee ballots. Absentee voting ended Thursday.

“Clerks in fellow counties say that so far, we’re in the lead,” Jones said. “If we base our turnout on absentee, it should be good. Our traffic has been pretty consistent.”

Those who have business or medical emergencies arise that would prevent them from voting on Tuesday may vote at the clerk’s office in the courthouse on Monday, Jones said.

While the absentee turnout seems high, Star-News archives show that more than 1,000 people voted absentee in the 2008 General Election, the first time President Barack Obama was on the ballot. Seventy-one percent of the county’s registered voters cast ballots that year.

Turnout was slightly lower in the 2012 General Election, when 66.42 percent of the registered voters participated. Most of those – 79 percent – supported Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

In addition to the presidential race, Covington County voters will cast ballots for U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative. There are no contested local races.

Sen. Richard Shelby is being challenged by Ron Crumpton; Rep. Martha Roby is being challenged by Nathan Mathis.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.