November 7, 2012 11:48:05 AM
Although President Barack Obama was elected to a second term Tuesday night, Republican Mitt Romney won in Lowndes County but only by a narrow margin. Romney carried the county with 13,381 votes to Obama's 13,165 votes. The results are unofficial until affidavit ballots are counted by Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Haley Salazar.
A little more than 67 percent of registered voters in the county went to the polls Tuesday to vote for the president and several other state races.
"We had a large voter turnout Tuesday," Salazar said. "Sixty-seven percent of the registered voters showing up is a big deal. We had lines at some of our precincts yesterday. I am very happy with our turnout."
In Lowndes County elections, Larry Chapell defeated Clyde McRath, with 4,063 votes to McRath's 1,419 in the election for District 1 Election Commissioner.
Jean Bigelow defeated Leon Speck, garnering 2,716 to his 1,707 in the race for District 2 Election Commissioner.
P. Whitten Barksdale was the winner in the District 2 Election Commissioner race, beating S. Pennington Elliot with 3,144 votes to Elliot's 1,662.
Sherry Guyton won the District 4 Election Commissioner race in a landslide. Guyton defeated Ina Walters with 4,439 votes to Walters' 554.
In District 5, Olivia Stewart was unopposed.
In the races for Lowndes County School Board, Bobby Barksdale defeated John Hall in District 3, with 1,232 to Hall's 1,069.
In District 4, Wesley Barrett was victorious over Michael Gibson, with 1,265 votes to Gibson's 1,002.
With 26,982 ballots cast Tuesday, Salazar said a lack of server space created some minor problems for Lowndes voters.
"We didn't have any problems at the precincts," Salazar said. "The biggest problem we had was a statewide problem. The state election system has some inadequate servers. Lots of voters were showing up to vote and they had been flagged inactive -- that's a federal issue. We couldn't get into the system to change it quick enough because the servers were overloaded. It was the hardest election we've ever had in this office. We had phones ringing and we couldn't answer all of them, and that's not unacceptable. We have to increase our server capacity."
Salazar said it could take days to count all of the affidavit ballots.
Voter turnout was high in Clay County, where more than 77 percent of the registered voters cast 10,972 ballots. Clay County Circuit Clerk Bob Harrell was unavailable for comment Wednesday morning.
In Oktibbeha County, almost 67 percent of the voters showed up and cast 26,557 ballots.
"I'm very pleased with the voter turnout," Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glen Hamilton said. "Over the last two or three elections, we have had a substantial increase in voter turnout, and that's encouraging. We had a few minor issues Tuesday with address changes, but nothing major."
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