|In every election, it's always interesting to look at
the numbers to see how things shake out.
In this election, the turnout was very low. Roughly 18% (6,038) of the more than 32,000 registered voters bothered to go to the polls. Four times more people didn't vote than did. That number is even a little misleading when you look at the numbers by district. Then it's even worse.
In the 1st district, Loudon, a three man race for one of the school board seats, helped the voter turn out to get up to 20%. 1,135 voters went to the polls.
In seat "A", candidate Ken Hupp, who lives in the portion of Tellico Village included in the 1st district, picked up 62% (219) of the vote at his precinct, Loudon Mount Zion. But over in the Loudon inside and Loudon outside, Hupp only received 10% (51) and 5% (16) respectively in those two districts. Kenny Ridings won the race.
Seat "B" 1st district candidate, Scott Newman ran unopposed receiving a complimentary vote of 861 with an under vote of 274. We'll talk about under votes in a minute.
There were no school board candidates running in the 2nd district but with two charter change measures on the ballot in Lenoir City, still only 13% of the registered voters went to the polls.
In the 3rd district Glendale/Greenback, where there was a contested school board race, only 14% of voters went to the polls. One interesting notation. The 3rd district is a large geographical area but not heavily populated. The two main population areas are just across the dam and down to about Glendale. Then of course the Greenback area. One of the candidates, Michael Phillips, lives in the Fort Loudon Estates area just across the dam. In his precinct, Glendale, Phillips received 55% (102) of the vote with Phil Moffett who lives in the Greenback area getting 45% (82). In Greenback, Moffett's precinct, Moffett received 86% (162) of the vote with Phillips getting just 14% (27). Moffett won the race.
In Loudon and Greenback, it's easy to see that the community a candidate lives in can have a great effect on the outcome of an election.
There were no school board candidates on the ballot in 4th district, Philadelphia, and no other contested local elections. That might be the reason only 378 or 13% of the nearly 3000 registered voters turned out.
This might be a good time to talk about under votes. These have always interested/puzzled me. An under vote is the number of voters that went to the polls but for some unknown reason, they didn't bother to vote in one or more of the races they were entitled to vote in. For instance.
Loudon County Property Assessor, Mike Campbell, won the primary election back in March but was still on the general election ballot uncontested. He received a complimentary vote of 4,843 but had an under vote of 1,195. Nearly 20% of those who voted just skipped that vote for some reason.
The 5th district had the highest turnout of all districts. Of course there were two contested school board seats with six candidates and the Hurley/Calfee match up was in about half the district. Even with all that, only 24% of the more than 6,700 registered voters turned out. In the seat "A" school board race with four candidates, incumbent Gary Ubben was re-elected but with only 38% of the vote. In the seat "B" race, my race, I lost by 39 votes. The under vote in the seat "B" race was 89.
The 6th district, Highland Park, like the 2nd and 4th district and had no school board race. The only contested local race was the Julia Hurley and Kent Calfee contest. Only 16% (564) voters came out.
In the 7th district, Tellico Village, 24% (1,226) of voters went to the polls. Many are under the assumption that villagers always turn out heavy in every election. Unfortunately, this is incorrect. For some reason villagers will turnout in massive numbers in state and federal general elections but as you can see, they vote in numbers about like the rest of the county in local elections.
Tellico Village's school board candidate was on the ballot but was unopposed. Craig Simon received a complimentary vote of 960 with an under vote of 266.
In the 32nd district state house race which includes a large portion of Roane County and a much smaller portion of Loudon County, incumbent Julia Hurley who lives in Lenoir City/Loudon County beat out challenger, Kent Clafee in Loudon County, with 61% (838) of the vote to Calfee's 39% (530). In Roane County the numbers were almost exactly reversed with Calfee taking 60% (3,414) of the vote and Hurley getting 40% (2,372) of the vote.
In this election just like all elections, the small minority decided the outcome of all the elections for the vast majority. That's just inexplicable to me. But you've got to figure that the majority just doesn't care. But remember, if you don't vote don't complain.
Folks, we've got a big election coming in November for president. I sure hope we have a better turnout for that election. Maybe we can get rid of Obumer.