November 7, 2018 11:28:30 AM
Much of Wednesday's attention will be focused on the winner's of Tuesday's general election and the unfinished business that still awaits in those races requiring a runoff to determine the winner on Nov. 27.
Some races were run-aways, some were to close to call.
But there is one group of winners whose performance should not be ignored: The voters.
Throughout the state and nation turnout was high.
The Golden Triangle was no exception. In some cases, in fact, the turnout was very good, especially compared to the June primary and previous midterm elections. In Clay County, 56.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday. In Oktibbeha County, the turnout was 53 percent and may go as high as 55.6 percent when all the absentee and provisional votes are counted, said circuit clerk Tony Rook. In Lowndes County the turnout was 49.1 percent while 44.2 percent of registered Noxubee County voters went to the polls Tuesday after just 4 percent of voters went to polls in June.
Compared to the June primaries, when turnout in the Golden Triangle ranged from that 4 percent in Noxubee County to 15 percent Oktibbeha County, the improvement in turnout was better than anyone dared to imagine.
Ideally, the turnout would be close to 100 percent. Realistically, turnouts approaching 50 percent are good. There will always been a significant amount of voters who cannot be persuaded to exercise their civic duty.
Given the abysmal turnout a few months ago, we are proud that so many voters in the Golden Triangle did get to the polls.
The stakes were high - both U.S. Senate seats were on the ballot throughout the Golden Triangle while a U.S. House seat was up for grabs in parts of the area. All four counties featured contested races for important, if not high-profile, chancery court judge positions.
Individually, voters may be disappointed or pleased with the outcome of Tuesday's election.
But collectively, Tuesday was an unqualified success. Government works best when it is supported by an active, informed public.
What we saw Tuesday was a positive step in that direction.
We salute all of the candidates who ran for office, the county employees and volunteers who helped stage the election and, most of all, the voters, who exercised their right and duty by going to the polls.
Let's hope Tuesday's turnout becomes a momentum-builder for all future elections, including the Nov. 27 runoffs.