Monroe kicks off election season

Incumbents win Monroe elections, less than 9 percent of population comes out to vote

by Brian Carlton

Less than nine percent of Monroe residents turned out to cast ballots Tuesday, Oct. 11, as all the incumbent candidates won re-election. (Lorayn Deluca/UCW photo)

For the most part, people stayed away from the polls Tuesday, as the city of Monroe held municipal elections. A total of 1,416 people came out in the rain to vote, 8.44 percent of the 16,777 registered voters in the city.

“It’s about average for what we saw in the last off year election,” Union County Board of Elections Director John Whitley said. “It’s just been really slow, with a few people coming in to vote.”

In 2009, 8.59 percent of the voters cast a ballot. Some of Monroe’s newer residents said they were confused, as they said the Oct. date caught them off guard.

“Most elections are in November,” new Monroe resident Michelle Bare said. “I just moved here about two months ago and I didn’t get anything that said, oh by the way, our elections are in October.”

Bare, who admitted she hadn’t changed her voting registration to Monroe yet, said an October election made no sense to her, questioning why the change was necessary.

Of those who did come out in the rain, Mayor Bobby Kilgore won another term, collecting 74 percent of the 1,386 ballots in the mayoral race. His opponent Kyle Hayes got 24 percent of the vote and there were 10 write-ins.

On the council side, all three incumbents won another term. With three council seats open, Lynn Keziah won with 729 votes, followed by Dottie Nash in second with 709 and Billy Jordan in third with 529 votes. Of the three challengers, Mark Eagle came closest, finishing with 15.56 percent or 557 votes. There were also three write-in votes for the council race.

Whitley said unless a write-in candidate gets more than five votes, he doesn’t report the names, as some of them can’t be taken seriously.

“People write in crazy names,” Whitley said. “We get cartoon characters, we get all kinds of strange stuff.”

Early voting for the rest of the county starts Oct. 20 and will stretch until Nov. 5. Residents can vote from 8:30 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and then on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

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