Rain, few contested races keeping election turnout low


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Thanks to rain and few contested races on the ballot, turnout for today's city election continued to be low.

As of 2 p.m., only 142 votes had been cast in the citywide election. Adding the 878 registered voters who cast early ballots, turnout for today's election now stands at 8.7 percent.

The votes were scattered across the city's five precincts: 37 in North precinct, 32 in the South precinct, 27 in the East precinct, 34 in the West precinct, and 12 in the Mt. Hermon precinct.

In Camden County, where 51 voters are registered to vote in the city's 1st Ward, no one had voted as of 2 p.m. About six voters cast ballots in Camden during early voting.

Only two of the city's four wards have contested city council races. In the 2nd Ward, incumbent Councilors Anita Hummer and Gabriel Adkins are seeking re-election. They're being challenged by first-time candidate Chris Ruffieux. In the 3rd Ward, incumbent Councilors Rickey King and Kem Spence are seeking re-election. They're being challenged by Michael Brooks, a former councilor.

Elsewhere Mayor Bettie Parker, 1st Ward Councilors Jeannie Young and Billy Caudle, and 4th Ward Councilors Darius Horton and Johnnie Walton are all running unopposed.

Sh'Rhonda Sawyer, a Second Ward voter, said she cast her ballot at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center Tuesday morning. Sawyer, a 44-year-old social worker, said she was looking for city councilors who care about citizens and will stand up for things that are important to citizens.

"They should be honest and willing to work hard to make our community even better than what it is," she said.

Sawyer declined to say which candidates she voted for.

Joshua Sawyer, 39, a teacher, also declined to name candidates he supported. He said he didn't have particular issues he was concerned about in the election. He vote.

The city has 11,671 registered voters, according to the Pasquotank Board of Elections.