Candidates seek votes at early poll

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Earlybird campaigners walk to their place on College Street when the morning shadows are still long before the election office opened at 8 a.m. Even then, the temperature was warmer than 80 degrees.

Early voting is up and so are the temperatures.

Wilting under their tents - where some were relieved by battery operated fans and the contents of insulated jugs - were dozens of candidates, supporters and other buddies on Friday when early voting started at 8 a.m.

They're lined up along College Street and Franklin Road.

The numbers of people voting early were: 395 in person on Friday; 137 on Saturday when the election office was open 8 a.m. to noon instead of until 4 p.m.; and 278 on Monday, according to Jo Ann Henry, administrator of elections in Marshall County.

Is that high?

"I'd say so," Henry replied.

That's from "probably 17,000-plus" registered voters, she said.

Clearly many more will make the trek to the Hardison Office Annex on College Street in Lewisburg.

"It's been busy," county poll worker Wynona Clark said while standing in the room with the voting machines. "We've had a real good turnout.

"I think this is the best turnout we've had," Clark said, attributing that to the competitive ballots with five men running for sheriff and three for county mayor.

Meanwhile, the 100-foot distance - separating polling machines from people trying to persuade voters to cast their ballot one way or another - is being respected.

"No violations," Henry said Tuesday. "Candidates have been very cordial."

Politicians and their campaign workers, however, have been hot, hot, hot.

Lewisburg's high Tuesday was predicted at 92 degrees by the National Weather Service, according to meteorologist Mark Rose.

It's worse today through Sunday, Rose said, predicting 95 to 97 degrees as the high temperature during the five-day period.

"I don't know that I'd call it a heat-wave, but it is summer," Rose said.

The heat index today is expected to reach 102, he said. The actual temperature is: Predicted to hit 95 today; Same for Thursday at 96 degrees with a heat index of 103; Projected at 97 and 103 Friday; with the same story on Saturday at 96 degrees and a heat index of 102.

Resting on Sunday is advised with a high of 95 and a relatively cooler heat index of 101, Rose said. Next Monday, it's supposed to be cooler, at 92 degrees with a heat index of 99.

"The normal temperature for this time of year in Lewisburg is 90 during the last week of July and the first week of August," the meteorologist said.

So the weather is 4-5 degrees above normal.

"We record a shade temperature," Rose said. "Obviously if you're standing on black top asphalt, it's going to be higher."

Candidates' tents are generally on the sidewalk of the Hardison Annex, but a few steps away, there's a blacktop road that intensifies the heat.