NEW MADRID - A large voter turnout and a number of write-in votes slowed the tabulation of Tuesday's general election. However, election officials noted that overall the day went smoothly.
None of the candidates for county offices faced an opponent so most eyes were on the tallies for national and statewide offices. New Madrid County voters tended to split their votes across party lines Tuesday.
In the race for president, the Republican ticket of John McCain/Sarah Palin picked up 56.51 percent of the vote with 4,593 ballots cast in their favor in the county. The Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden took 41.46 percent or 3,370 votes. There were 31 votes cast for the Libertarian ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne A. Root; 35 votes for the Constitution Party candidates of Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle; 63 votes for the Independent Party candidates Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez; and 36 write-in votes for other candidates.
In the race for governor, county voters favored the Democratic candidate, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon giving him 4,313 votes over Republican Kenny Hulshof, who garnered 3,574 votes. Also receiving votes were Libertarian Andrew W. Finkenstadt, 69; Constitutionalist Gregory E. Thompson, 51; and one write-in vote was cast.
In the race for lieutenant governor, voters swung back to give Republican Peter Kinder the nod with 4,221 votes over 3,521 votes cast for Democrat Sam Page; 99 for Teddy Fleck of the Libertarian Party; 61 for James C. Rensing, Constitutional Party candidate; and five write-ins.
Robin Carnahan (D) was the top vote getter for secretary of state for New Madrid County voters. Carnahan had 5,067 votes; Mitchell (Mitch) Hubbard (R), 2,623; Wes Upchurch, (L), 83; Denise C. Neely (C), 95; and there were five write-in votes.
In the race for state treasurer, the local voters selected Clint Zweifel (D) over opponents Brad Lager (R) and Rodney D. Farthing (C). Their totals respectively were 3,943, 3,584 and 178 with 10 write-in votes cast.
For attorney general, Chris Koster (D) received the majority of local votes tallying 4,351 compared to 3,335 votes cast for Mike Gibbons (R) along with eight write-in ballots.
Incumbent Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R) remains popular in New Madrid County and tallied 5,140 votes. Also receiving votes were Joe Allen (D), 2,722; Branden C. McCullough (L), 107; Richard L. Smith (C), 42; and six write-ins.
For District 25 State Senator, incumbent Robert (Rob) Mayer (R) was the top vote-getter earning 4,217 votes over his opponent M. Shane Stoelting (D), who had 3,517. There were 8 write-in votes cast.
State candidates running without opposition who have districts in New Madrid County include: Ellen Brandom (R), 160th District, 666 votes; Steve Hodges (D), 161st District, 3,510 votes; and Terry Swinger (D), 162nd District, 2,622 votes.
On the other statewide issues, New Madrid County residents favored Constitutional Amendment 1 (English language) overwhelmingly. There were 6,436 yes votes and 685 no votes cast.
On Amendment 4 (stormwater), voters favoring the measure totaled 4,000 while there were 3,003 no votes cast. The vote totals for Proposition A (casinos and gambling), were 3,800 yes and 3,711 no while Proposition B (home care) had 5,779 yes votes compared to 1,691 no votes. The Proposition C (renewable energy) totals were 4,606 yes and 2,665 no.
Voters in the county favored retaining the three judges listed on the ballot. Patricia Breckenridge, 5,215 yes, 1,618, no; Gary W. Lynch, 5,108 yes, 1,636, no; and Daniel E. Scott, 5,093 yes, 1,589 no.
In the countywide races, all the candidates were filed as Democrats and were running without opposition. The vote count was: Mark Baker, District 1 associate commissioner, 3,750; Don Day, District 2 associate commissioner, 2,977; Terry M. Stevens, sheriff, 6,560; Ronnie Simmons, assessor, 6,828; Tommy Bradley, treasurer, 6,546; H. Riley Bock, public administrator, 6,434; Jimmy McSpadden, coroner, 6,634; and Michael Allgier, a two-year unexpired term as auditor, 6,499.
The only local issue on the ballot was in Portageville where voters soundly defeated a proposed half-cent sales tax. There were 530 votes cast in favor of the issue and 743 opposed.
According to unofficial totals provided by the office of New Madrid County Circuit Clerk Clement Cravens there were 8,223 votes cast Tuesday which comprised 67 percent of the county's eligible voters.