GEORGETOWN — Several customers gathered for lunch Wednesday with newspapers spread across tables at Fava's on Main Street.
The conversations in the small restaurant centered around one topic: Vickie Moore's 1,002 votes for city council in Tuesday's primary election. Moore, 54, died from a heart attack on April 4.
When the results rolled in Tuesday night, Moore was among the top 16 vote-getters who would move on to the general election for city council in November. David Lusby led the race with 2,655 votes.
Election officials say Moore's name will be dropped and Antonio Barber Sr. will fill the final general election slot.
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It's not clear what prompted more than 1,000 residents to vote for a candidate who could not serve. Some think it was out of dislike for other candidates. Many see it as a tribute to Moore's memory. But some attribute the votes to people who simply didn't read the signs.
Moore's husband, Bill Moore, said in a telephone interview that when he arrived at the polls there were large signs informing voters that Vickie was deceased and her votes would not be counted.
Jerry Humphrey, who was having lunch at the Main Street restaurant, was among those who didn't see those signs. Humphrey said he cast his vote for Moore based on her solid reputation in the community.
"I had heard good things about her. I didn't realize (she was dead)," he said.
A few others thought Moore received so many votes as a memorial.
Jackie Covington, the Scott County Clerk, said residents might have been trying to honor Moore's memory with their votes. Covington said Moore was well-liked and well-known in the community.
Scott Turner, president of the Georgetown Scott County Community Connections, worked with Moore and said she was a "mover and a shaker" in the community. He couldn't imagine people didn't know she was dead because everybody knew her.
"I think people voted to make a statement, or people were doing it in honor of her, to say 'she would have had my vote had she lived,'" Turner said.
Regina Seagriff said "some of it was out of loyalty and respect" and part of it was because "people didn't like anyone else and this sent a message."
Roger Durr said too many candidates and too many platforms could be the problem. With so much information to take in, many people just decide to choose names at random, he said, which is how Moore might have been selected.
"This particular race had 20 or 25 people," he said. "You're bombarded with so many names, a lot of people go down the list and just pick out eight names."
Bill Moore said he and his family voted for Vickie, but he never expected 1,000 others to do the same. He said he looked at the totals from the election results and realized his late wife finished 13th out of 29 candidates.
"It shows how respected she was," he said. "People knew she would have done a good job and this expressed their faith in her."