Smallwood is odd man out in Lancaster City Council race

November 03, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

LANCASTER - Ronald Smallwood was edged out Tuesday by just over 100 votes in his bid for one of six seats on the Lancaster City Council.

Victors in the race were Donna Murphy Powell, who led with 869 votes; Randy Stathers with 759; Jesse Wagoner, 755; Cecelia O. Adams, 722; Daniel Napier, 681; and Donald Rinthen, 677. Smallwood trailed with 550 votes.

Powell, Stathers, Wagoner, Adams and Napier are incumbents.

Results from all nine city precincts were in and tallied by about 7:40 p.m.

Garrard County Clerk Stacy May said it was smooth sailing for election day.

"Everything went great, especially in the morning hours. We had one voting machine to malfunction, which was the one over at the health department (Gilbert's Creek precinct). We had to go out and reset it, but it started right up again and kept up the tallies fine."

May said there was one write-in error, which was a result of a voter not realizing to select the button which opens up the write-in area of the candidate box. Apparently when the area did not appear for the voter to write in the candidate's name, the voter left the booth without completing the vote.


"Then there's the one write-in for 'John Doe' for state senate," said Sharon Caudill, a deputy clerk and an official tabulator for the evening. Caudill was busy running the cartridges through the computer, which immediately tally up the votes from that particular voting machine.

There were 13 machines total in Garrard County.

In the vote for the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the result was 5,098 to 1,011 in favor.

Elsie Broadus, another official tabulator for the evening, said there were more absentee votes this year than she can remember as well. Officials spent significant time totaling up the votes with Sheriff Ronnie Wardrip Tuesday morning.

63 percent turnout

Of Garrard County's 10,710 registered voters, 6,773 cast votes. The 63 percent turnout rate is the highest many of the workers could recall.

Caudill said that compared to the primary election, which had 15 percent voter turnout.

"This is a huge difference for us. We were expecting it, though. So many people have been calling to find out if they can still register to vote, where they go, and making sure that they are in fact registered. It's just been big this year."

Allen Day and Kenneth Irvin, both with the Board of Elections, had been working since early Tuesday morning.

"I started my day at 4 a.m." Irvin said. "I had to be here to open up the day and take any complaints that were headed in our direction about the overall voting process. But there weren't any. Things have gone fine - no problems at all."

Roger Miller, chairman of the Garrard County Democratic Party, was on hand and calling out minute by minute results by cell phone.

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