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Voter turnout very weak in New Madrid County

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

NEW MADRID - Although voter turnout was weak, opinions were strong in Tuesday's election.

In the only countywide issue, New Madrid County residents voted to make the prosecutor's position full-time. There were 557 ballots cast in favor of the issue, just over 57 percent, compared to 411 no votes or just over 42 percent.

The position will become full-time following the 2006 election for the post, currently held by New Madrid County Prosecuting Attorney Lewis Recker. Recker had recommended the position be full-time citing the heavy caseload handled by his office.

New Madrid city voters approved the continuation of a 21-cent general revenue tax, which helps fund maintenance of the community's seven cemeteries. Previously defeated by voters, this time the tax passed handily with 268 yes votes and merely 63 no votes. By precinct the vote was: absentees, 23 yes, 5 no; New Madrid 1, 80 yes, 19 no; New Madrid 2, 75 yes, 16 no; and New Madrid 3, 90 yes, 23 no.

The only other issue was for Ward 1 Alderman in Marston with the voters giving the nod to Allen Leon Hampton over Junior Phillips. Hampton, who had lost the election by 1 vote in April until it was overturned by the court, polled 65 votes to 50 votes for Phillips.

County Clerk Clement Cravens called the turnout the lowest since he has been overseeing elections. "I thought we might vote more than the June election since Marston and New Madrid had issues, but still it was even lower," he said, noting that for the countywide tax proposal in June there were just over 1,000 ballots cast.

Unofficial breakdown of the countywide full-time prosecuting attorney issue by precinct was also provided by Cravens' office. The vote tallies were:

absentee 41 yes, 3 no; Anderson 1 and 2, 10 yes, 4 no; Big Prairie 1 and 2, 22 yes, 21 no; Big Prairie 3, 2 yes, 6 no; Big Prairie 4, 6 yes, 4 no; Como 1 and 2, 16 yes, 5 no; Como 3 and 4, 19 yes, 24 no; Como 5, 3 yes, 5 no; LaFont 1 and 2, 58 yes, 87, no; Lafont 3, 3 yes, 11 no; Lesieur 1, 5 yes, 12 no; Lewis 1 and 2, 33 yes, 15 no; Lewis 3 and 4, 17 yes, 4 no; Lewis, 5, 1 yes, 8 no; New Madrid 1, 58 yes, 42 no; New Madrid 2, 68 yes, 23, no; New Madrid 3, 76 yes, 37, no; New Madrid 4, 16 yes, 9 no; New Madrid 5, 10 yes, 15 no; Portage 1, 29 yes, 33 no; Portage 2, 28 yes, 31 no; Portage 3, 10 yes, 2 no; West 1 and 2, 9 yes, 9 no; West 3 and 4, 17 yes, 1 no.