County predicts high turnout

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 6, 2000

Election watchers predict high turnout Tuesday throughout the county’s precincts.

Monday, November 06, 2000

Election watchers predict high turnout Tuesday throughout the county’s precincts.

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Republican and Democrat leaders joined the Lawrence County Board of Elections estimate of more than 50 percent, but for different reasons.

"I think Lawrence County will probably have a bigger turnout this election," Republican party chairman Mack Anderson said. "I think there is a lot of interest in local races."

Democrat party chair Craig Allen said that politicians predicting a 65 percent turnout have made a reasonable estimate.

"A close contest usually brings out the voters," Allen said.

Current polls, comparisons to races decades ago – they point to the presidential race between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore as one of the closest in history, he said.

Anderson said Republicans are estimating 50 percent to 60 percent locally, but probably under 50 percent nationally.

Turnout in Lawrence won’t come from presidential race fervor but more from two hotly-contested county commission races and a highly-charged sheriff’s race.

"Republicans are more enthused with their candidates, and I think that goes nationwide," Anderson said.

Also, Bush is running probably one of the strongest campaigns since President Reagan, he added.

"I think Bush will win, certainly in Ohio, and the fact he’s leading in some Democrat states tells you something."

Allen said the presidential candidates have done a good job while campaigning.

"There’s a clear difference on how they would do the job," he said. "It gets people more excited."

Past history shows presidential races bring out the votes, and that usually helps the Democratic candidate to win, Allen said.

And Gore doesn’t want to raid Social Security, he said.

Turnout is important because one vote counts, Allen said, adding that Kennedy won Ohio over Nixon years ago by an estimated one vote per precinct.

Officially, the turnout is almost unpredictable anymore, said Mary Wipert, director of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

Interest, excitement, changes in party and voter attitudes, it all makes it harder to predict these days, Mrs. Wipert said.

"We said 52 percent but it’s a toss up," she said.

Election workers are ready, though, Mrs. Wipert said.

Polls open Tuesday morning, 6:30 a.m., and close at 7:30 p.m.

And voters should read their ballot to make sure they vote correctly so that their vote counts, she said.