The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 6, 2012

Limestone election officials report few issues at the polls

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— Despite lengthy lines throughout the day at the 32 voting sites, election officials encountered few issues as Limestone County voters went to the polls Tuesday.

“This has been a relatively quiet day for a general election,” said Limestone County Elections Director Bobbi Bailey, who has worked in the elections office for 18 years. “We’ve not really had any complaints about the lines. We had one or two about being out of control, and I always welcome these people to work the polls.

“I think people were expecting long lines, and they were expecting to have to wait.”

When the polls opened at 7 a.m. today, the 167 residents registered to vote in the Ripley community in District 4 encountered ballots that were missing names due to the redistricting changes for some voters who had formerly voted in District 3. The problem was resolved by 9 a.m., and voters who were affected were asked to return and vote.

“In ’08 we had our main issue out in the Limestone County, city of Madison area because of the traffic on County Line Road,” Bailey said. “We made some adjustments this time where we had police out there working traffic control, and there doesn’t appear to be any issues this time.”

The heaviest voter turnout was projected to be in District 4, which had incumbent Democrat Bill Daws pitted against Republican challenger Ben Harrison for the seat on the county commission. The county has 34 boxes, including a provisional box and an absentee ballot box.

“We are expecting 74-plus percent (in voter turnout),” said Bailey shortly before the polls closed at 7 p.m. “We had 74 percent in the last presidential election, and the absentee vote was more this time than in 2008.

“I think the majority of the heaviest traffic was going to be in the District 4 race because it was the only local race that was restricted to one district.”

District 4 has 16 precincts, including provisional and absentee boxes, and 7,115 voters turned out at the 14 voting sites. Bailey said about 2,000 absentee ballots were sent out, and those ballots couldn’t be counted until noon Tuesday. County workers were still tabulating the absentee results as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and provisional ballots will be counted Nov. 13.

Overall, 83,876 votes were cast in Limestone County at the 32 voting sites for a 67.6 percent voter turnout as of Tuesday night. Provisional and absentee ballots were not available as of press time.