Record absentee vote pushes total to 88% turnout in election this year

November 19, 1992|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

A record number of absentee voters helped boost Howard County's voter turnout to 88 percent -- the highest in history -- the election board administrator said yesterday.

Final results show that 100,465 of the county's 113,742 registered voters cast ballots. "We've never had that many," said Barbara Feaga, the election board administrator.

On Election Day, the board accommodated a record 94,000 voters in 13 hours. "With the exception of 7 p.m. and a few spots in between, the lines were not bad -- certainly not as bad as expected," Ms. Feaga said.

The board counted absentee ballots Friday. Usually, absentee voters amount to 5 percent of the total turnout. This year, they accounted for 6 percent -- 2,901 Democrats, 2,220 Republicans, 840 independents, three Libertarians and 41 others. Ninety-three percent of the 6,490 people who requested absentee ballots returned them.

The 6,005 absentee voters cast their ballots along the same lines as the 94,432 who voted at the polls. The winners still won, and even the percentages remained virtually the same. The only thing new is the margin of victory.

On election night, for example, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton polled 41,763 votes to 36,370 for President Bush and 15,464 for Ross Perot.

Final tallies show Mr. Clinton with 44,763 votes, Mr. Bush with 38,594 and Mr. Perot with 16,182. The final percentages mirrored election night with Mr. Clinton getting 44.8 percent, Mr. Bush 38.6 percent and Mr. Perot 16.1 percent.

Other results were also unchanged. In the school board election, Sandra H. French and Linda L. Johnson won with 50,087 and 41,339 votes, respectively. Delroy L. Cornick again finished third in the final tally with 27,986 votes followed by Melvina Brown with 21,957.

Official results again show that three out of four voters want to limit service on the County Council to a total of 12 years. The charter amendment limiting council service was approved by 71,758 voters, with 19,726 voting against it.

As with their Election Day counterparts, absentees voted in favor of the state law protecting the right to abortion by a 2-to-1 margin. The final tally was 63,141 for and 34,305 against.

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