Results of school board elections are tallied

The rain came in the morning, but then, so did the voters.

Only the voters continued in trickles throughout the day, while the rain stopped and the sun appeared by the afternoon.

Despite the heavy, low-slung grey clouds and early morning thunder, voters braved the wet to cast their ballots in one of the three school board elections occurring April 14.

By 10:15 a.m., Williston district one had see 86 voters, district two had seen 42 voters and district three had 78 voters.
Poll workers were encouraged by the number of voters thus far.

"We are having a wonderful turnout," said poll manager Annetta Hair that morning.

The Barnwell County Voter Registration and Elections Office was still tabulating precinct results at 8:40 p.m. although a majority of data had already been processed by 8:20 p.m.

Election returns have already revealed one upset - Elizabeth Coleman, who had been on the Williston school board 18 years, lost her seat to newcomer Alan Mulligan. Calvin Melton, the other incumbent, retained his seat.

Mulligan garnered 708 votes to Coleman's 533. Melton collected a comfortable 722 votes.

These numbers were raw tabulations from the voter registration office as the precinct numbers returned.

All school board elections in Barnwell County are at-large, where the person or persons with the majority (or majorities) of the votes is elected to the board.

In Blackville-Hilda, Brenda Holman was unsuccessful in her first-time attempt for a seat on the board. Incumbents Inell Waring and Steven McCormack will hold on to their seats for another term.

McCormack garnered 179 votes; Waring 198 and Holman collected 117.

Abraham Sexton handily took retiring board member Jeff Still's vacant Barnwell 45 school board seat. Sexton out-paced Pete Zionkowski with 529 votes to 404.

Naomi DeFrenn, the director of the Barnwell County Voter Registration and Elections Office, said last week that of the three school board races, Williston was the one she had received the most requests - about 100 - for absentee ballots.

Countywide, there were five school board seats up for election.

In Barnwell 45, one seat was open with two newcomers vying for it. Jeff Still, after six years on the board, decided not to seek another term.

Williston and Blackville-Hilda school districts each had two seats come up for election. With both these districts, there were two incumbents and one challenger.

All total countywide, 2,441 voters out of 13,088 registered voters in Barnwell County cat ballots in this election. Voter turnout was rated at 18.65 percent.