As expected, Bladen County voters turned out in barely more than a trickle for Tuesday’s non-partisan municipal elections.
Of the 5, 753 registered voters in the county, only 1,325 cast a ballot — representing just 23.03 percent of those with voting privileges.
From among those 1,325 votes cast, 482 ballots — or 8.38 percent — were cast absentee or during the early voting period.
When the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 13 incumbents had won re-election, four incumbents lost their bid for re-election, four newcomers had been elected, a write-in candidate was elected and a referendum changed the form of government in one town. In another town, a council race remained undecided.
The lone race still undecided is in Dublin, where incumbent Jeffrey Smith and newcomer Tommy Thompson remain knotted with 43 votes each. Smith had opened a 19-1 lead after the absentee and early-voting ballots were counted, but Thompson quickly erased that deficit during Tuesday’s voting.
“It’s yet to be determined how this race will be decided,” said Cynthia Shaw, director of the Bladen County Board of Elections. “We’ve put a call in to the state to talk with their legal council; we also have two provisional votes that could make a difference if they are allowed to count.”
Shaw said the county’s election audit is under way and, next Tuesday at 11 a.m., the races will be certified. But if a tie remains in the Dublin Town Council race, a coin flip could decide that outcome.
“We should know all the answers by then,” she said.
Other Tuesday results included …
— Elizabethtown: Incumbents Rufus Lloyd (308 votes), Paula Greene (343 votes) and Herman Lewis (296 votes) each won re-election to the town council for another four years. They beat back a challenge by Ivan Davis, who garnered 58 votes.
There were also 11 write-in votes.
— White Lake: Newcomer Paul Evans defeated incumbent Barbara Williams for a four-year seat on the town council, 127-79. Joining Evans on the board are two incumbents, Tim Blount (113 votes) and Mike Suggs (112 votes).
Also receiving votes, but falling short, was Harvey Iwerks with 60 votes.
— East Arcadia: Two incumbents, Perry Blanks and Lillian Graham, ran unopposed and won re-election to the town council for four years. Graham received 45 votes and Blanks 43.
— Clarkton: Newcomer Jason Lewis nipped incumbent Tim Tart by a 26-25 margin, but each won a four-year seat on the town council.
There were also nine write-in votes.
— Dublin: Incumbent Horace Wyatt ran unopposed for the mayor’s two-year seat and gathered 66 votes to win re-election. There were also two write-in votes for mayor.
— Tar Heel: Roy Dew ran unopposed and won re-election to his second two-year term as mayor with 24 votes.
In the race for town council, incumbents Angie Hall and Sam Allen each ran unopposed and garnered 23 votes to win re-election to their two-year seats. A third available seat had no candidate on the ballot, but there were 16 write-in votes turned in. The identities of write-in candidates will not be revealed until after the audit next week.