Low turnout for Dobbins Heights election


By Gavin Stone - gstone@yourdailyjournal.com



Gavin Stone | Daily Journal Election official Barbara Davis helps a voter submit a ballot for counting on Tuesday at the Dobbins Heights Community Center.


DOBBINS HEIGHTS — Two town council members ran unopposed to keep their seats, in effect securing victory before the votes were counted.

There were 67 total votes cast out of 559 registered voters (population of 822 as of 2015, according to the U.S. Census). Mayor Pro Tem Tyré Holloway received 51 votes and Councilwoman Angeline David received 62 votes. There was one vote for a write-in candidate, according to the Richmond County Board of Elections’ final count on Tuesday.

“They’re running unopposed so it’s kind of a shoo-in but at least people are exercising their civic duty,” said Brenda Baucam, one of the election officials at the Dobbins Heights Community Center.

One of those who voted knew what it was like to be on both sides of the ballot. Gracie Jackson, a town council member for 28 years until 2015, said the reason for the low turnout was likely because the candidates ran unopposed.

“A lot of people are going to stay home for that reason,” Jackson said. She couldn’t recall a time during her tenure when candidates ran unopposed.

David, who has been on the council for 12 years, said that running unopposed isn’t a positive thing, community, but she’s happy to get another chance to do good for the community.

“I would love for someone else to step up to try to take my position or to run,” David said. “There are a couple of things that I would love to get done…before my tenure is up.”

On David’s agenda is creating a strong after-school program and building a senior center in the town. She also wants to do more to encourage residents to engage in the process of government.

“I love the citizens, I don’t get to see enough of them at the meetings,” David said. “I would love for that to change.”

“It’s going to be a promise to myself to get with the community and do something for the youth,” she added.

David and Holloway serve as co-commissioners of the Dobbins Heights Parks and Recreation department. They both expressed pride at having repaved the basketball and tennis courts, as well as renovating the pool.

“Our main goal was to make the park a focal point of Dobbins Heights — and so far, so good,” Holloway said. “I can go up there right now and see the courts full.”

This was Holloway’s first reelection campaign. Going forward, Holloway wants to focus on maintaining the park and collecting taxes. One way he wants to go about that is to make it more convenient for citizens to pay them through technology.

Holloway said he went out Tuesday morning to remind people to vote, and many said they weren’t aware there was an election going on.

“I’m always looking for more people participating in the process,” Holloway said. “It doesn’t even matter who they vote for — as long we have people participating, you have citizens who are informed.”

Elections for the Rockingham and Hamlet city councils and Ellerbe and Hoffman town councils are next month.

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674.

Gavin Stone | Daily Journal Election official Barbara Davis helps a voter submit a ballot for counting on Tuesday at the Dobbins Heights Community Center.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_dh_election17.jpgGavin Stone | Daily Journal Election official Barbara Davis helps a voter submit a ballot for counting on Tuesday at the Dobbins Heights Community Center.

By Gavin Stone

gstone@yourdailyjournal.com

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