Election Day 2008

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Record-breaking crowds may cast a ballot on Election Day

By Billy Davis

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Panola County is poised to see a record-breaking number of voters on Election Day today, smashing its record from four years ago, as citizens cast a ballot for president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and several other down-ticket races.

The 2004 election fell on November 2, and 14,212 Panolians cast a ballot. Just over 20,000 voters are registered, so that turnout accounted for 70 percent of registered voters.

It also marked the fourth-highest turnout percentage in Mississippi, Ronald McMinn, chair of the Panola County Election Commission, said recently.

“I think we could see 15,000-plus at the polls on Election Day,” McMinn said.

To ready for the expected crowds, the election commission has placed 121 Diebold voting machines at 24 voting precincts.

Polls open today at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m.

The November 4 ballot will include the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, and other third-party candidates.

Also on the ballot are a state supreme court race, a four-county circuit court judge race, two election commission races and two North Panola school board races.

The Panolian plans to post election results on its Web site, www.panolian.com, once results are released.

Panola County’s circuit clerk’s office recorded 2,292 new registered voters since January 1. A total of 1,371 Panolians registered from September 1 to the October 3 deadline, said a spokesman.

The circuit clerk’s office has collected 1,680 absentee ballots, which will be counted tonight when the polls close.