Minor problems reported with early voters in Region 8

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Voter turnout has been average in Randolph County, according to Randolph County Clerk Janice Mock. As of midday Monday, more than 1,500 people have cast ballots before Election Day on Tuesday. Mock expects approximately 50% of registered voters in Randolph County will participate in one of three primaries.

"It's about normal for a primary. We're running about on schedule, maybe a little bit less than some years but pretty close," said Mock. "It cuts down the lines there so it's pretty good. We like early voting."

Mock said there are more than 10,000 registered voters in Randolph County and each of them needs to participate. Voters Tuesday will have to choose to participate in the Democratic, Republican or Non-Partisan Preferential Primary.

"I don't know that people are excited this year. They don't seem like they're real excited. They just seem like they want to do, vote for their people," said Mock. "We have a close representative race. We have some city races going on, but we have some local races that I think will be very close."

Mock said there have been minor problems with the voting process. She said many people don't realize they can only vote in one party primary.

"They have a blank look on their face. They don't understand. They say, well I don't vote for the party I vote for the person, and we have to tell them that this is a party primary," said Mock.

"They're not aware of what the public primary or the May primary is about. When we ask what party they want to participate in, they look at us with that deer in the headlight look," said Chris Manning, Randolph County Deputy Clerk. "We've had a fairly good turnout. It's a little bit lower than projected in the past primaries but it's going quite well."

Manning said voters are interested in seeing the results in the Randolph County Coroner's race, sheriff's race and U.S. Senate race.

"I think that they're all very eager for change and I think that for most people that are coming in to vote, they want to see that," said Manning.

Manning said a watch party will be held at the Randolph County Courthouse Tuesday night as election results come in.

"We've had some that are, you know, everybody has got their own opinion and they like to voice them. Of course we can't do that here at our polling site and we have to keep it neutral," said Manning.

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