Voter turnout for April 12 runoff ‘very low’

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Only 6 percent of Shelby County's registered voters cast ballots in the April 12 runoff election. (File)

Only 6 percent of Shelby County’s registered voters cast ballots in the April 12 runoff election. (File)


A low percentage of Shelby County voters submitted ballots in the April 12 primary runoff election for the Shelby County Circuit Judge and Shelby County Commission District 4 seats.

Of the 130,118 registered voters in Shelby County, only 7,944 voted in the April 12 runoff, resulting in a 6 percent voter turnout.

Six more ballots cast were provisional ballots that will not be tallied until Tuesday, April 19.

“That’s very low for turnout, but for a runoff with that many races, I don’t think it was unexpected,” Shelby County Probate Chief Clerk Kim Melton said. “It’s unfortunate, but not unexpected.”

Lara McCauley Alvis won the Republican Party nomination for Circuit Judge by a narrow margin, securing 51.04 percent of the vote (about 4,049 votes) over opponent Patrick Kennedy, who came out with 48.96 percent (about 3,884 votes), just two percentage points behind Alvis, according to unofficial election results.

Ward Williams edged out opponent Ron Griggs for the Commission District 4 seat with 52 percent of the votes (about 481 votes), compared to Griggs’ 48 percent (about 444 votes).

In addition to absentees, only five of the 47 precincts in Shelby County had the Commission District 4 race on the ballots because of district lines.

In the March 1 primary election, Williams and Griggs ran for the position with Gene Rowley and were the top two vote-getters. Griggs led the race with 1,508 votes (38.59 percent), followed by Williams with 1,262 votes (32.29 percent).

Alvis finished the March 1 primary with 45.26 percent of the vote, while Kennedy earned 39.34 percent.