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Story Archives: Election 2008 concludes amid near-record turnout
|Election 2008 concludes amid near-record turnout|
When the polls closed on last Tuesday's presidential election, a dedicated group of Franklin Parish residents trekked over to the Franklin Parish Library.
They made their trip to take part in "Souper Election Night Coverage," the brainchild of librarian Emily Arnold.
Arnold organized the soup dinner and election night bash in order to give people from various parties to demonstrate unity.
"I came up with the idea this spring because I really enjoy politics," Arnold said. "I thought it would be a wonderful idea for the community to come together, to have one place where we all watch the returns come in together, and then to celebrate our new president."
Arnold said people representing both major candidates turned up for the event.
"We were very excited about the results, even though some people did not cast their votes for Barack Obama," Arnold said. "Ultimately, he is still going to be our president."
For Arnold, that's what made the event worthwhile.
"It was about unity -- coming together no matter what," Arnold said.
Viewers at the library were treated to election returns from a number of national and local news sources, so they were up to date in the election -- which was historic on multiple fronts, including near-record turnout across the nation.
More than 9,300 voters turned out at Franklin Parish polls Tuesday to take part in history as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States.
Unofficial returns indicate a turnout as high as 71 percent of Franklin's 13,500 registered voters. That's the highest it's ever been, according to Registrar of Voters Geneva Cupp.
"It was the best turnout I've ever seen," said Cupp. "I don't ever remember it being that high."
Though Obama won the national popular vote and the presidency, Franklin voters overwhelmingly sided with his Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Of some 9,356 votes cast, McCain garnere
d 6,278 votes to Obama's 2,959, a margin of more than two to one.
Just over one percent of Franklin voters opted for one of five third-party presidential candidates on the ballot.
State Treasurer John Kennedy won the Senate race in Franklin Parish, but wide margins here could not put him over the top in the statewide vote count.
Sen. Mary Landrieu won re-election to another term as the senior senator from Louisiana, besting Kennedy by more than 100,000 votes statewide.
Landrieu secured just 42 percent of Franklin votes to Kennedy's 56 percent. Statewide, those numbers were virtually reversed and Landrieu overcame Kennedy's challenge by more than 6 points with more than 52 percent of the votes cast.
Winnsboro Mayor Jack Hammonds can breathe a sigh of relief after voters narrowly approved the passage of a much-touted half-cent sales tax to fund capital projects around the city.
Voters were split on the tax, with 762 Winnsboro voters saying "yes" to the tax. However, the victory was far from overwhelming. Some 735 voters voted against levying the tax.
Voters approved a 2-percent hotel tax by healthier margins. Almost 56 percent of voters approved the tax, while 44 said "no" to the proposal.
Franklin citizens voted to approve just three of seven constitutional amendments on the ballot, mirroring statewide results, which saw those three amendments voted into law.
On Amendment 1, term limits for boards and commissions, voters approved that measure by a margin of more than 2 to 1.
Also, voters said "yes" to changing the number of days necessary for the announcement of a specially called session of the legislature. That measure carried Franklin Parish with more than 56 percent of the vote.
The final adopted constitutional change, Amendment 3, allows for the appointment of a temporary replacement for legislators called to active military duty.
Some 58 percent of Franklin voters were in favor of the move.
All told, more than 119 million Americans went to the polls Tuesday.