Election Day 2013

Voter turnout low for municipal election
Nov. 06, 2013 @ 07:04 AM

Of the 11,967 registered voters eligible to vote Tuesday night, only 1,503 cast a ballot in the 2013 municipal election.

It was a turnout of 12.4 percent.

"We saw with our one-stop that the turnout was going to be low," said Debbie Bedford, Rutherford County director of elections. "There was no challenge in Forest City and that made a big difference."

Early returns showed nearly 230 early votes cast in the county. Most of those cast were in Rutherfordton and Spindale.

"It was a very quiet day and no problems at all," Bedford said. "We have just a few provisionals to look at and that's about it."

Several uncontested races were on the ballot for this election cycle.

In Bostic, Mayor Mitch Harrill picked up 14 votes to secure re-election while commissioners Michael Hollifield and Billy Lattimore each earned close to 50 percent of the votes to also earn re-election.

Bruce Godzik picked up 29 votes while April M. Sottile had 26 votes to secure their election to the two seats on the Chimney Rock Village Council. Penny Keys had 16 votes.

In Ellenboro, all three incumbents secured re-election in the race for Alderman. Lee Allen received the most votes with 60 and Mike Rhyne had 58. Allan (Bunt) Black rounded out the incumbents with 51 votes while former Alderman Michael G. Jennings had 29 votes.

Steve Holland and Shawn Moore were both uncontested in the race for Forest City Commission. Holland picked up 105 votes while Moore had 87. Forest City Mayor Dennis Tarlton was also unopposed and won 110 votes for re-election.

In Lake Lure, John W. Moore was the top vote-getter with 254 votes while Mary Ann Dotson-Silvey had 186 votes. Both were elected to the two positions available on the Commission. Stephen M. Webber was just five votes behind Dotson-Silvey with 181 votes and Derek Papesh received 50 votes. Mayor Bob Keith was unopposed and won re-election with 318 votes.

Ruth Mayor Don Baynard ran unopposed and collected all 21 votes cast for the position. Chris Adkins and Mike Ellenburg each garnered 19 votes to win back their seats on the Ruth Commission.

Rutherfordton also had strong turnout for a contested council race. Stan Clements and Terry Cobb each earned 40 percent of the vote to win re-election. Challenger Gayle Clayton earned 12 percent of the vote. Mayor Jimmy Dancy was unopposed and earned 416 votes to earn re-election.

Spindale had a strong voter turnout as 786 ballots were cast for its contested Commission race. Brett A. Hooper picked up the most votes with 330 while Robin Ensley earned 205 votes, securing both available seats. Tommy Hardin had 160 votes while Ed Searcy picked up 96 votes. Mayor Mickey Bland was unopposed and received 336 votes.

"I knew we would have good turnout in Spindale and Rutherfordton," Bedford said. "They both usually have very good turnout."

In all, the county operated eight precincts and had 46 poll workers operating the polls throughout the day.

"All of the poll workers did a great job," Bedford said.