McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 4, 2014

Voters going to polls in low numbers in Ward 6 race

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Voters in McAlester’s Ward 6 were trickling to the polls  in low numbers Tuesday to elect a city councilor.

A total of only four early votes had been cast last Thursday and Friday during early in-person absentee ballot voting, according to Robert Smith, of the Election Board office.

Two votes had been cast Thursday and another two on Friday.

Voting at regular polling places was also slow Tuesday.

Three candidates were on the ballot in the Tuesday, March 4 race to elect a new city councilor: Jason Barnett, Cletis Lowe Jr. and Marsha  Coyle.

They were vying for the seat previously held by former Ward 6 Councilor/Vice Mayor Sam Mason, who resigned in December.

Candidates for the office include three of the four individuals who had applied for an appointment to fill Mason’s unexpired term.

After Mason’s resignation, city councilors appointed Barnett in January to fill the remainder of Mason’s term —which was only for a couple of months.

Barnett, 41, who operates a local construction company, became the first to file as an official candidate for the Ward 6 seat.

Lowe, 31, who said he handles rental property in McAlester, was the second candidate to file for the Ward 6 seat.

Marsha Coyle, 54, a U.S. Postal Service employee, was the third and final candidate to file for the post.

On Tuesday, only 10 votes in the Ward 6 race had been cast by around 1 p.m. at Precinct 15, the Kiamichi Technology Center, Smith said.

Another 32 votes had been cast at Precinct 5, the Harrison-Powers American Legion Post.

No votes at all had been cast at Precinct 3, the First Baptist Church in McAlester.

Pittsburg County Election Board Secretary Cathy Thornton, Assistant Secretary Tonya Barnes and election worker Robert Smith agreed the turnout was low.

The following polling places were set to remain open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the Tuesday election for a new Ward 6 city councilor:

• Precinct 1 — J.I. Stipe Center, 801 N. Ninth St.

 McAlester

• Precinct 3 — First Baptist Church at 100 E. Washington Ave.

• Precinct 4 —Central Christian Church, 920 Central Ave.

• Precinct 5 —American Legion, 400 S. Second St., McAlester

•  Precinct 8 —William Gay School, 600 W. Madison Ave.

• Precinct 15 — Kiamichi Technology Center, 301 Kiamichi Drive, with voting in the new J.N. Baker Building on the northwest side of the building.

• Precinct 19 — Alderson Methodist Church

• Precinct 32 — Frink Community Center

• Precinct 41 —Krebs City Hall

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.