MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Both mayoral candidates will tell you that turnout will determine the winner in Tuesday’s mayoral election.
Four years ago, Sandy Stimpson won by more than 4,200 votes. To make that up, Sam Jones will have to see considerable turnout increases in his key precincts and/or significant drops in Stimpson’s key precincts.
Sandy Stimpson will vote at the Mobile Museum of Art. Sam Jones will vote at Figures Park. And it will be the turnout at those two polling places that the two candidates will be most closely watching throughout the day. Those were the precincts with the most voters four years ago, and they leaned heavily toward one candidate over the other. In 2013, at Figures Park, 94-percent of the 3,162 voters cast ballots for Sam Jones. At the Museum of Art, 87-percent of the 3,192 voters cast ballots for Sandy Stimpson.
Other key polling places for Jones will be Rock of Faith Church on South Ann Street. That precinct voted at Taylor Park in 2013 and 97-percent of the more than 12 hundred voters favored Jones. St. Monica Church on DIP replaces Mae Eanes as polling place where 99-percent of voters four years ago went for Jones. Sullivan Park on North Catherine Street will be another key precinct for the former mayor.
Voting at Sullivan Park could be down, though, because there is not a city council race in District-2. Levon Manzie is unopposed. Jones won in Council District two by more than 29-hundred votes in 2013.
Similarly, though, Stimpson won by more than 28-hundred votes in District-7 where there too is no council race this year, as Gina Gregory is unopposed.
Stimpson will be counting on big turnouts tomorrow at the Museum of Art, at the Ahavas Chesed Synagogue in Regency which replaces Airport Blvd. Baptist Church as a polling place Council District-6, and at ER Dickson school, where 92-percent of the 1,275 voters four years ago cast their ballots for Stimpson.
City Clerk Lisa Lambert tells News-5 that approximately 2,600 absentee ballots were mailed out this year. In 2013, more than 2,800 absentee ballots were returned. That could indicate that overall turnout this year will be less than four years ago. Jones and Stimpson fairly evenly split absentee votes in 2013.