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The Scoop - Early voting opens with a whimper
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You would've thought the early voting room was under quarantine Wednesday as early voting got under way with a resounding silence.

In a show of intense apathy, voters turned their back on one of the most popular days to cast their ballot, the first day of early voting.

This is not to suggest early voting will remain sluggish. The rest of the voting period may turn out to be as exciting as the last lap at Talladega, but that wasn't the case opening day. I showed up expecting to make a picture of a long line of voters and instead took a picture of an empty room. Sad.

What I take from this situation more than anything is how much every vote really does count in a local election. Cole Taylor (2014) and Bobby Turner (2010) have both lost Warren County Commission seats by 1 vote in the previous two county elections.

If you think your vote is not key, glimpse at final voting figures from the last county election in August of 2014. The 6th District had the lowest total votes cast for County Commission with only 507. The top vote-getter in that district, Earl Jones, received 269 votes.

If you look at all the County Commission candidates from all 12 districts, Carl E. Bouldin in the 2nd District received more votes than any other commissioner in 2014 with a county best 501.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kenny Roberts in the 12th District received the lowest vote total of any person elected to serve on our County Commission with 190 votes in a six-person race.

Speaking of another six-person race, it's not going to take many votes to get elected Warren County Sheriff in August. If we take the election of 2014 as a guide, there were 8,159 total votes cast for sheriff. Divided equally by six, that amounts to 1,359 votes each.

With six strong and very likable candidates, I expect it to be a very even race. We could elect our next sheriff with 1,800 votes. That's why I think it's a bit of a political miscalculation one of our sheriff's candidates didn't run as a Republican. Just look at our landscape.

All three of Warren County's state government representatives are Republicans in a state with two Republican U.S. Senators, and a Republican governor. President Trump, a Republican, carried Warren County with 70 percent of the vote just two years ago.

If any of our sheriff's candidates had decided to run as a Republican, my guess is he would have gotten, at bare minimum, 100 votes simply for having an R by his name. That's a low-ball estimate. A high-ball estimate would be 250 votes. It all depends on how many people vote party no matter what. There are undoubtedly some.

In an election where every vote could shift the outcome, passing up a treasure chest of votes as a Republican could decide who will be our next sheriff. It could prove to be an oversight in several other countywide races as well.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.