DeSoto County Deputy Circuit Clerk for Elections Marla Treadway said voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary elections was among the lowest in recent memory.
“It’s pretty low,” Treadway said Wednesday. “The last primary election that we had four years ago we had at least 20 percent.”
According to Treadway, just 15,691 total votes were cast in the primary elections, not counting the affidavit/provisional ballots. The total number of registered voters in DeSoto County is 94,340.
Treadway and her staff, under the direction of Circuit Clerk Dale K. Thompson, is gearing up once more for yet another election. She said absentee voting in the runoff election will begin Saturday, June 14 and will end at noon, Saturday June 21.
Ballots must be received in the mail by June 23 in order to be counted for the runoff election, according to Treadway.
A weary Danny Klein, chairman of DeSoto County’s Election Commission, said absentee voting can begin once results from Tuesday’s primary election are certified, which could be Monday or Tuesday of next week.
The surprise of the evening was the overwhelming manner in which McDaniel carried DeSoto County. The race was much tighter in the rest of the state.
McDaniel supporters credit the fact McDaniel’s base seemed more energized than their opponents.
McDaniel carried every precinct in DeSoto County, racking up impressive margins in Horn Lake and Olive Branch among other areas.
State Sen. David Parker (R-Olive Branch), an avid McDaniel supporter, said he was pleased with the way DeSoto County turned out for McDaniel.
“People were excited for change and looking for a stronger conservative direction,” Parker said. “They were good enough to put out signs and brave the sun. People are tired of hearing we want change. They want to actively bring about change.”
Chip Johnson, volunteer chairman of the Cochran campaign, said he, too, was surprised by the energy of the McDaniel campaign but promised a different story when the runoff occurs.
Johnson said many Cochran supporters became complacent and assumed Cochran would have enough votes to win.
Johnson said reality is just now settling in that Mississippi will stand to lose immeasurable gains politically and financially, if Cochran is not returned to Washington.
“I see it happening time and time again,” Johnson said. “When you have a good incumbent and people are happy with the job you are doing, then people tend to get complacent. Now, it’s obvious we can’t afford to be complacent. This may be a wake-up call for a lot of people.”
Johnson said people are just now starting to realize several major projects which means thousands of jobs could be in jeopardy if Cochran, who stands to become the new chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is not re-elected.