Turnout light in early voting for House seat, Blythe race

Turnout has been very light for the first two weeks of early voting for the House District 127 post – vacant since the August death of Rep. Quincy Murphy – and municipal races in tiny Blythe.

Only 228 voters – 151 in Rich­mond County and 77 in Jefferson Coun­ty – have cast ballots for the Nov. 5 elections, according to voting officials. The House district has 26,871 registered voters and spans much of Jefferson County north into Richmond County, where it takes in Fort Gordon, Blythe and areas around Regency Mall and Doctors Hospital.

“Normally they do vote early, (but) this is a state race,” Jefferson County Elections Superintendent Susan Gray said, surmising that the special House election hadn’t caught voters’ attention. “It could still pick up next week.”

Three Democrats are running to fill the remaining year in Mur­phy’s term: his widow, Dianne Murphy; Jefferson County retired educator and Baptist minister Diane Evans; and military retiree Brian Prince.

The Blythe contests include a referendum on Sunday alcohol sales, a mayor’s race between Brent Weir and incumbent Pat Cole, and two at-large Blythe City Council seats up for grabs among five candidates: Jacqueline Bart­lett, William Dixon, Daisy Price, Ma­rie Stewart and Cindy Par­ham.

A Sunday alcohol sales referendum and other elections were scheduled for Nov. 5 in Hephzibah, but were called off after three candidates for the Hephzibah Com­mis­sion were unopposed, according to Rich­mond County Board of Elec­tions Director Lynn Bailey.

Voters will again have an opportunity to cast an early ballot Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In Richmond County, voters can cast ballots at the Board of Elections’ main office at 530 Greene St., Room 104. Jefferson County voters can cast ballots at the county elections office at 415 Green St. in Louisville.

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