County reports 60 percent turnout

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Four years ago the national media reported among other things on how low the voter turnout was.

&uot;Four years ago was before 9/11 and before we had a lot of service people overseas,&uot; said Steve Norman, Probate Judge of Butler County.

As of 10 p.m., the national news media has changed its tune.

Email newsletter signup

They are projecting that 65 percent of voters registered have turned out to vote.

&uot;We had 443 votes cast at McLain’s,&uot; poll worker William Pierce said.

&uot;We have never gone past 300 votes in recent memory.&uot;

With all of the votes counted Tuesday night Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson certified that there were nearly 14,400 voters registered. Of that number, 8,642 cast a ballot.

&uot;I have never seen a voter turnout like this,&uot; Sheriff Diane Harris said. &uot;It’s due to the publicity that this election has received. The people had to speak.&uot;

&uot;I think a turnout like this surprises everyone,&uot; Norman said. &uot;A voter turnout like this unprecedented in modern times. On the ballots for Butler County there were only two local races. So logically there would not be as much interest as in June when the ballot is all local.&uot;

Norman also attributes a turnout like this to the power of advertising.

&uot;The money that is spent in Washington is generating interest in places like Greenville where it is pretty much a national ballot,&uot; Norman said.

Besides the two candidates butting heads throughout the country in televised debates and speaking engagements, there was also voter registration drives going on leading up to Nov. 2.

J. MacDonald Russell, District Judge, was surprised to see a turnout like this.

&uot;The closeness of the presidential race made people want to vote for their candidate,&uot; Russell said. &uot;The closer the race is the more interest it generated.&uot;

Nearly 33 million people have voted in this year’s election, and that’s without all of the national precincts reporting according to The state of Alabama accounted for nearly 1.4 million of that number.

A majority of those votes however were in favor of the incumbent President George W. Bush.