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Low voter turnout for District 1 special election

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss.-- Thirteen candidates are looking to fill the state congressional spot once held by Alan Nunnelee who passed away last year from brain cancer.

The Circuit Clerk for DeSoto County said a runoff election was bound to happen, which would cost taxpayers about $52,000.

The Mississippi Secretary of State said on Tuesday voter turnout has been low in all 21 counties that make up District 1.

He urged voters to come out to honor Nunnelee's memory.

For the last few weeks the commercials have been on blast and the signs have been up advocating for different candidates across northern Mississippi.

However the traffic in and out of the 39 polling precincts across DeSoto County has been slow.

Danny Klein, Chairman of the DeSoto County Elections said that's normal.

"It's traditional in special elections if you get 20-30% of a turnout, that's a good turnout," he explained.

Klein said with the large candidate pool he thought voter turnout might be greater because of the unique situation.

One of Tuesday's voters was 25-year-old Joe Simmons who said he didn't think twice about filling out a ballot.

"If the younger generation doesn't vote, what do we have?" he asked.

He said having 13 candidates is good for everyone.

"I think it's a good thing for everybody to get a chance to vote for someone different," he explained.

However, WREG was told all those choices means a runoff election is most likely on the horizon.

"Chances of someone getting 50% plus one is slim," explained Klein.

That election would be June 2, and Simmons said you'll find him there.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

Klein said he expected results to start coming in around 8 p.m.

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