By Jack King
Curry County Democrats voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry Tuesday, giving the Massachusetts senator more than half the total county vote.
Kerry received 493 out of 917 votes cast by Democrats in Curry County’s two polling places, the Bruce King Building in Clovis and Melrose’s city hall.
John Edwards received 135; Wesley Clark received 121; Howard Dean received 80; Joe Lieberman received 31 votes; Dennis Kucinich received 12; Al Sharpton, a write-in candidate in New Mexico, received three votes; and Fern Penna, a little-known candidate from Kingston, N.Y., also received three. Dick Gephardt received two votes.
Curry County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sandra Martin said 870 people voted at the Bruce King building. Of those, seven voted as uncommitted. There were 11 “provisional” ballots, people who were not on the local list of registered Democrats whose votes will have to be approved by the state party, and 15 “undetermined” ballots, those mismarked in some way, that will have to be examined by the state party, she said.
In Melrose, Mayor Ray Hester, a Democratic precinct chairman, said 47 people voted, with one uncommitted voter.
The total number of voters who turned out for the caucus, 917, represents about 11 percent of the county’s 8,313 registered Democrats, Martin said.
“For being a first-time caucus, it went well. Voting was steady from the time we opened. We had people coming in until we closed the door at 7 p.m. People came out even though it was cold, which had been a concern,” she said.
Hester said Melrose had a “good” turnout, “about normal for voting” in the town.
Martin added this was the first caucus in New Mexico to use “curb-site” voting, which allowed precinct officials to meet disabled voters in their cars at curb-side at the voting site. The Curry County caucus served four voters at curb-side, she said.