Thursday, March 22, 2012
Election turnout low in Marshall County
By BARRY BURLESON
Just a few thousand register voters went to the polls in the primary elections last week.
Marshall County had a 19.27 percent turnout. Just over 4,000 voted in a county with slightly more than 21,000 registered voters.
As for their choices, local voters followed much the same path as others in the district and state.
In the Republican presidential primary, Rick Santorum received 42.12 percent of the vote in Marshall County. Newt Gingrich was next with 26.36 percent and Mitt Romney third with 26.03.
Mississippi, as a whole, also favored Santorum.
Coasting to primary wins in the county and the district were incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and incumbent U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee. In Marshall County, Wicker got 87.94 percent of the vote and Nunnelee 51.11 percent.
On the Democratic primary ticket, incumbent President Barack Obama was unopposed.
For Senate, Albert N. Gore Jr. got 74.86 percent of the vote in Marshall County.
For the House of Representatives position, Brad Morris was unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot.
In the Town of Byhalia, voters overwhelmingly supported a new tax on hotel and motel rentals.
The vote was 81 “for” and 19 “against.” It needed a 60 percent approval and got an 81 percent backing.
The amount of the tax, which will go into effect April 1, is 2 percent of the gross proceeds of room rentals for each motel and hotel.
The proceeds will provide revenue to enhance tourism and parks and recreation, according to a resolution approved by the mayor and board of aldermen.
“At this point, it won’t generate a lot of money,” Mayor Phil Malone said. “We’re trying to get ahead of the curve – looking ahead to future growth.”
He thanked all the voters who participated in the election – those voting both “for” and “against.”
“All the money will be designated for our parks and every little bit helps,” he said.
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