NEW MADRID -- Sometimes determining who the voters meant is the hardest thing about the election.
Voters in North Lilbourn wrote in 18 different names during Tuesday's election to pick three persons to serve on the board of trustees including the names: John Hughes, J.R. Hughes, John R. Hughes and John Richard Hughes. According to County Clerk Jim W. Farrenburg, a Board of Verification will be called Friday to determine whom the voters intended with their ballots.
Leading in the unofficial totals for North Lilbourn trustees were Barry Martin, who polled 31 votes and Leonard Thompson, who had 29 votes.
It wasn't just in North Lilbourn that election judges were reading through write-in votes. Tuesday's ballot count was slowed with several other write-in campaigns which resulted in hand-counts by the election judges along with the count by machine.
For the most part, voter turnout was light in the county with 2,031 persons casting ballots Tuesday.
The only countywide race was to elect two persons to serve on the New Madrid County Health Center's Board of Trustees. Challenger Bobby Blom lost in his bid to unseat one of the incumbents, Mary Beth Bradley and Larry Wiggs. Bradley polled 1,428 votes; Wiggs, 916; and Blom, 762.
Neither of the candidates was opposed in Canalou. Frances Abernathy was elected Ward 1 alderman with eight votes and Gary Deen had 16 for Ward 2 alderman.
In the race for Gideon Ward 1 alderman, Debbie Montgomery garnered 78 votes to 30 votes for Shirley Dismore. Lee Downing was unopposed in Ward 2 and received 75 votes.
Tommie Fountain was unopposed in his bid to serve as Howardville Ward 1 alderman and had 22 votes. Running as a declared write-in candidates, A.G. Sanders received three votes to serve as Ward 2 alderman.
Terry Hawkins was elected Ward 1 alderman in Lilbourn, defeating Scott Elliott, 33-23. Dale Ray easily outdistanced his opponent Larry J. Hamilton with a vote count of 37 to 10 to serve as Ward 2 alderman.
None of the incumbents were opposed in Matthews with Mayor Gene Curtis receiving 37 votes; Ward 1 Alderman Jim Burch, 15 votes, and Ward 2 Alderman W.H. Gilmer Jr., 29 votes.
Marston Ward 1 voters chose Leon Hampton to serve as their next alderman over incumbent Junior Phillips by a 64-41-vote. Donald Ferguson, who was appointed as Ward 2 alderman, was elected to a full term with 37 votes over 34 votes from challenger Paul Haubold.
Morehouse voters kept Pete Leija as their mayor, giving him 195 votes over 62 votes for declared write-in candidate Barbara McIntrye. However, in Ward 2, write-in candidate Gerald Williams got the nod from voters with 52 defeating Jackie W. Hayes Sr., who had 43 votes. Elected to an unexpired term as Ward 2 alderman was Eddie Stinnett, who defeated Kenneth Tackett by an unofficial count of 67 to 30.
The next city marshal for Morehouse will be Eric Hutchison, who easily outdistanced opponent Gary Purnell with 211 votes compared to 43 votes for Purnell.
Running unopposed in Morehouse was City Collector Karen Williams (237 votes); Police Judge Angela Webb (223 votes); and Alderman Ward 1 Judy Gosnell-Greene (130 votes).
None of the candidates were opposed in New Madrid's election to fill three board of alderman posts. Elected in Ward 1 for his first term was Howard E. Crisler with 49 votes while newcomer in Ward 2, Dwayne Stanley had 41 votes. Incumbent Ward 3 Alderman Gary Cowan garnered 47 votes.
Randall Ramsey will serve as the mayor of Parma after receiving 111 votes in his favor. There were two declared write-in candidates for the job with Floyd Ray Wade Sr. gathering 66 votes and Rufus Williamson Jr., 1 vote.
Parma voters decided to allow the board to appoint their chief of police. There were 101 votes in favor of the proposition compared to 71 no votes.
The other Parma officials did not have opposition. Elected were City Collector Luesendy Holmes, 152 votes; Ward 1 Alderman Oscar Sapp, 41 votes; and Ward 2 Alderman Simon Wofford, 114 votes.
The only contested race in Portageville was in Ward 1 where James "Butch" Williams had 140 votes to out-distance his opponent Delmar Edgar's 38 votes. Running unopposed were Henry Macklin for mayor with 214 votes; City Collector Michele Crawford, 243 votes; Ward 2 Alderman Ervin Gremard, 88 votes.
Neither Risco aldermen was opposed in the election with Julian Miller tallying 10 votes in the East Ward while Alta Rader received nine votes in the West Ward.
While there were no declared candidates on the ballots in Tallapoosa, there were declared write-in candidates. Jack Clark had eight votes to be elected North Ward alderman over Quintina Glass, who had four votes. In the South Ward, Peggy Slay had two votes.
For Catron Town Trustee, Sherry Hillis had eight votes and Joe Pride nine votes.
Part of Sikeston is in New Madrid County and voters there followed the trend of others in Ward 3, giving 69 votes to David H. Teachout while Bart A. Grant had 47 votes. In the mayor's race, New Madrid County voters in Sikeston cast 92 ballots for Mike Marshall and 57 ballots for Harry Sharp.
Gideon District 37 voters stayed with their incumbents, electing Joe W. Woolverton and Bill McCain. Woolverton had 204 votes and McCain, 231 while challengers Sharon Rose Keown polled 63 votes and Jan Parker earned 175 votes.
The incumbents were unopposed in the New Madrid County R-1 School District. Jean Higgerson had 606 votes and Ralph E. Barnwell Jr. received 660 votes.
Also without opposition were Ronnie Adams and David Boyd in the Portageville School District. Boyd was returned to office with 237 votes and newcomer Adams received 233 votes to serve on the board.
Risco School District board members were without opposition. Clayton Knight received 39 votes and 37 votes went to Curtis DeWayne Patterson.
A portion of the Sikeston School District is included in New Madrid County. In a narrow local race, the voters cast 200 ballots for Ann W. Jones; 195 for Julie Crader Dolan; 157 votes for Harvey Cooper and 140 votes for Mary L. White-Ross.