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St. Mary voter turnout exceeds 2014 midterm

Fifty-four percent of St. Mary Parish voters cast ballots in last week’s election, up three percentage points compared to the 2014 midterm election.

For the Nov. 6 election, 17,941 of 33,208 registered voters in St. Mary Parish voted, according to Parish Registrar Jolene Holcombe.

The turnout was higher than the 51 percent turnout for the last midterm election in 2014, Holcombe said.

By party, 56.6 percent, 8,193 of 14,483 registered Democrats; 65.8 percent, 6,164 of 9,364 registered Republicans; and 38.3 percent, 3,584 of 9,361 registered other-party voters, turned out for the Nov. 6 election.

Local races on the ballot included races for St. Mary Parish sheriff and coroner, Berwick mayor and council, Patterson mayor, police chief and council, and Morgan City District 4 council seat.

Slightly less than 15 percent of registered voters voted early as early voting has become increasingly popular in recent years. Holcombe expects the overall turnout for the Dec. 8 election to be lower than the primary turnout.

“I know we still have the sheriff’s race, coroner’s race, secretary of state (runoffs). But we don’t have those other local races,” Holcombe said.

Holcombe anticipates that the runoff for sheriff will bring in a decent number of votes, but she still expects the overall turnout to be not as strong as the Nov. 6 turnout.

“We’re expecting probably early voting will be good, but I think Election Day turnout will be a little bit less than that,” she said.

Also on St. Mary Parish voters’ Dec. 8 ballots will be a parishwide home rule charter amendment. The amendment will set the salary of council members at $800 per month, except that council members elected by all voters in the parish shall receive $1,200 per month, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website.

Additionally, the salary of council members may be increased by ordinance adopted by a council elected under the provisions of the charter. Furthermore, the proposed amendment says that no ordinance changing the salary of a council member shall be adopted during the last year of a term, and no such ordinance shall become effective during the term of the council adopting the ordinance, the website says.

Early voting for the Dec. 8 election will be from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 24 through Dec. 1, excluding Nov. 25. Voters in St. Mary Parish may vote early at the registrar’s office in Franklin or at the branch office located at 301 Third St. in Morgan City.

Election Day voting hours are 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

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