Local voter turnout is low

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

According to unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election, less than 20 percent of the registered county voters turned out to vote.

The latest updated reports from the county clerk’s office showed that there are 11,229 registered voters. The total unofficial number of people who voted in Tuesday’s election was 2,017, which is 17.9 percent of the total registered voters in the county.

Roosevelt County Clerk Janet Collins said in an ideal world she would like to see 80 to 85 percent. Nevertheless, she felt it was a good turnout for Roosevelt County.

“It was a little more than I expected,” Collins said. “I’m always pleased when we have a good turnout.”

The total number of registered voters is comprised of 5,092 Republicans and 4,240 Democrats. In Tuesday’s election, 1,471 Republicans and 546 Democrats voted.

Collins was pleased with the early and alternative site voting. There were 556 who voted early and an additional 111 who voted at the alternate site.

“A good portion of people came out and voted before election day,” Collins said.

Incumbent Darren Hooker defeated Tom Gossett with 939 to 625 votes in Tuesday’s election. Both are Republicans. According to the New Mexico Secretary of State Web site, a report of expenditures and contributions showed Gossett’s campaign expenditures was $1,517 compared with $4,120 for Hooker. Both financial figures were dated June 1.

During Tuesday’s election, Rep. Keith Gardner, R-Roswell, defeated newcomer Lucille Tucker 1,323 to 547. The votes are from Roosevelt, Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties.
Gardner said he estimates about $40,000 was contributed to his campaign and between $23,000 to $25,000 was spent.

He said bills are still coming in from the campaign. Any money left over stays in the campaign fund and is used to keep in contact with campaign members.

“I spent a lot of time on the road,” Gardner said. “I try to visit with people as much as I can, but I make it a point not to let it affect, too much, my time with my family.”

Gardner received 573 (71 percent) and Tucker received 234 (29 percent) in Roosevelt County.

Results are unofficial until canvassed on Friday, according to the Roosevelt County Clerk’s office.

Collins said some voters changed their political party in order to vote in the sheriff’s race. Collins said people can change their political party affiliation back to Democrat if they changed it as soon as Monday.

The change should be processed by the November general election.