Early voters in the Whitehaven area outpaced those in the rest of the city's satellite voting locations by a wide margin as May 1st – the final day for early voting – approached.
Casting their ballots at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church at 1574 East Shelby Drive, 1,059 people voted, according to the Shelby County Election Commission. Next was the polling spot at Riverside Baptist Church (3560 S. Third) with 926 voters, and Bethel Church (5586 Stage Rd.) with 762.
The highest total was the downtown Shelby County Office Building with 1437 votes.
Heading into the final day, 13,079 total votes had been cast ahead of the primary on Tuesday, May 6th. The Election Commission's website had a string of zeroes for most locations, supporting Chairman Robert Myers' assertion in last week's edition that relatively few voters support primary elections.
With early voting winding down, The New Tri-State Defender camped out at Picadilly's Cafeteria and McDonald's in Whitehaven Plaza seeking a pulse that reflects interest in the Primary Elections.
"Oh yes, I will definitely be voting in the primary. We need new representation in this area, and especially with kids. If issues keep arising within the system that makes it harder for those who need correction to straighten out, things are only going to get worse. I work with a non-profit organization that helps ex-felons find jobs and I strongly agree with Judge Joe Brown."
– Keisha Siggers
"I believe that Judge Brown has brought a lot of attention to the issues. I definitely will be voting Tuesday. I think he will change some things that are going on with our kids in the black community. ... I've never had to deal with the juvenile court, but I think what she (Henri Brooks) has tried to do (with Juvenile Court) is the right thing."
– Cheryl Campbell
"Right now I'm torn, that's why I haven't gone to vote early. I will be voting Tuesday, but with much prayer. I'm just so disappointed with the work of the elected officials here period. There's too much that doesn't make sense as far as trying to effectively help and enhance the city for everyday people. You have the bike lanes, you have the Greenlines, but where are the funds going to improvement in the southern parts of the city?
"If I came from outside Memphis and came into town and from what I would be reading and hearing about the political system here, I would run. I think Judge Joe Brown has brought a positive and negative focus on the issues, but I just don't see where Memphis is progressing. Not every one of them, but I see so little that is worth supporting. I will study, and vote, but as I said, with much prayer."
– Vashti Cole
"I haven't made a decision yet of whether I will vote in the primary, but I usually vote in all the elections. I consider it an obligation. I think (Judge Joe) Brown) will try to straighten things out. I don't know much about his opponent but there have been issues down there (in the justice system) that have hurt African American people, and especially male African Americans. ... I just hope and pray that whoever gets it will do something about it."
– Augustus McKinney
"I think he (Brown) has done a lot of good work. It's not just about black people, he represents the law properly. He always has. They were trying to get him to sit down before the judge (during a recent encounter) and he let them know he knew just as much about the law as they did. And yes, I will be voting in the primary."
– Richard Washington