A long line forms outside the Ridgeland Recreation Center on Tuesday for the general election. Approximately 3,000 people voted at the precinct that normally turns out 1,200 voters, District 1 Election Commissioner Timothy Jenkins said.
A long line forms outside the Ridgeland Recreation Center on Tuesday for the general election. Approximately 3,000 people voted at the precinct that normally turns out 1,200 voters, District 1 Election Commissioner Timothy Jenkins said.
Voter turnout in Madison County for Tuesday’s general election nearly matched the amount for the 2016 presidential race as residents flooded polling precincts for a handful of contests. 

There were nearly 40,000 machine votes cast on Tuesday, in addition to approximately 2,500 absentee ballots and 3,000 affidavit ballots, election officials said Wednesday morning. 

For comparison, in 2016, there were approximately 44,000 machine votes in Madison County. In the 2014 general election, less than 24,000 Madison County residents voted on election day. 

“Voter turnout was incredible,” District 1 Election Commissioner Timothy Jenkins said. “At the Ridgeland Recreation Center I normally have 1,200 people vote there. We had about 3,000 this year.”

Madison County voters came out strong in support of incumbent U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in her special election contest against Mike Espy, State Sen. Chris McDaniel and Tobey Bartee. 

According to Madison County machine results, yet uncertified by the Election Commission, Hyde-Smith received 49.46 percent of the vote with 19,569 cast in her favor. Espy, of Ridgeland, received 41.14 percent of the vote with 16,279 votes cast in his favor. McDaniel received 3,419 votes and Bartee received 274 votes. 

Hyde-Smith, a Republican, and Espy, a Democrat, are set to face off in a runoff Nov. 27 since neither received the majority of the statewide vote. With 95 percent of precincts reporting in the state Wednesday morning, both finished with approximately 41 percent of the vote, with McDaniel trailing in third place with 16 percent of the vote. 

Hyde-Smith spent the better part of election day in the metro area and stopped by to eat lunch and visit with supporters at Mama Hamil’s in Madison.

In a crowded ballroom at The Westin Hotel in Jackson, Hyde-Smith told supporters that Republicans would keep the seat and “No Democrat is going to take over while I am here as your candidate.”

McDaniel told a crowd of supporters in Jones County Tuesday night that the Republican Party has to unite behind Hyde-Smith and that Mississippi can’t send a Democrat to Washington D.C. 

Espy told supporters at his campaign party in Jackson that he would be a “strong voice” for Mississippians and continued to campaign on healthcare and education. 

“I just want to make sure Mississippi can continue to rise,” he said. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker cruised to an easy victory, besting Democrat David Baria with 59 percent of the statewide vote. In Madison County, Wicker received 58.98 percent of the vote. 

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the only Democrat in Mississippi's congressional delegation, also cruised to re-election over Independent Troy Ray and Reform candidate Irving Harris. Thompson received 6,889 votes, roughly 80 percent of the 8,450 votes cast in the areas of northern Madison County that fall under the 2nd Congressional District, and 148,977 votes total (roughly 72 percent of the vote) district-wide.

In the District 3 Congressional race, Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest, a Republican, defeated Democrat Michael Evans with 155,840 votes (63 percent) to 90,193 (36 percent), thanks in part to 21,889 votes (71.5 percent of the total cast) in Madison County. Guest replaces Republican U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, who declined to seek another term.

Nationally, the GOP was able to secure its control over the U.S. Senate, but Democrats regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a series of victories in contested races across the country. 

The official results must be certified in the next five business days, giving the Madison County Election Commission until next Thursday to sort out affidavit and Voter ID ballots that were cast.