DAILY LEADER / Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the Tuesday, June 24, runoff primary.
DAILY LEADER / Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the Tuesday, June 24, runoff primary.

Absentee voting up in advance of Tuesday runoff

Published 10:31pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

Absentee voting in Lincoln County is up for the June 24 runoff compared to the June 3 first primary election.

Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield said that as of Saturday’s noon deadline, 316 voters had cast absentee ballots in the clerk’s office, compared to 226 in the June 3 election. Other counties across the state reported a similar trend.

Bairfield predicts the strong absentee voting indicates a similar turnout at the polls Tuesday. “Usually in a runoff there’s less turnout, but I estimate around the same number as in the primary,” Bairfield said.

Mailed-in absentee ballots must be received in the Lincoln County circuit clerk’s office’s post office box by Monday at 5 p.m. in order to be counted in the June 24 election. Bairfield said voters also can hand deliver their mail-out ballot to the downtown post office at the corner of Chickasaw and South Jackson streets by 5 p.m. Monday.

As of noon Saturday, 100 absentee ballots had been mailed for the June 24 primary, compared to 110 for the June 3 election.

Absentee ballots from military and overseas voters have a slightly later deadline. They must be received by the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday. Bairfield said he mailed three military ballots in the last primary and the same number for the June 24 election. “I think they’re already back,” he said.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for voters to cast ballot in either the Republican U.S. Senate runoff or the Democratic Third Congressional District runoff.

Residents must have registered to vote by May 3 to be eligible to vote in the June 24 election. As with the June 3 primary, voters will be required to show a photo identification card in order to cast a ballot.

Voters who do not have a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID card contact the circuit clerk’s office and request a Mississippi voter ID card free of charge.

Bairfield said he has processed eight voter ID card requests for the June 24 election and he previously handled seven prior to the June 3 primary. For more information on the types of IDs that may be used for voting, please visit the Mississippi Voter ID website at msvoterid.ms.gov.

As on June 3, voters will cast either a Democratic or a Republican ballot in the runoff on Tuesday. Bairfield reminded local residents that registered voters can vote in the June 24 runoff even if they did not vote June 3. However, those who voted June 3 cannot cross over to vote in a different party primary from the one voted on June 3.

The June 24 Republican Senate runoff is between incumbent Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel. The Democratic congressional runoff pits Douglas MacArthur “Doug” Magee of Mendenhall and Dennis Quinn of Magnolia.

The June 3 Republican Senate primary voting was particularly close statewide, with neither McDaniel nor Cochran receiving a majority of the votes. McDaniel received 157,733 votes, or 49.46 percent, and Cochran garnered 156,315 votes, or 49.02 percent, according to complete, official results posted on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website. The third candidate, Thomas L. Carey, who was eliminated in the first primary, received 4,854 votes, or 1.52 percent.

In Lincoln County, the Senate voting was not as close June 3. Cochran received 2,428 votes, compared to McDaniel’s 1,998 and Carey’s 56.

In the June 3 Democratic primary statewide, Magee received 7,738 votes, or 48.22 percent, compared to Quinn’s 5,820, or 36.27 percent, and the third candidate, Jim Liljeberg’s 2,490 votes, or 15.51 percent.

In Lincoln County’s June 3 primary, Magee easily carried the voting, with 408 votes, compared to Liljeberg’s 85. Quinn did not receive any votes in Lincoln County.

While the Democratic congressional primary has seen little active campaigning in Lincoln County and across the state, the Republican race for the U.S. Senate has seen heated campaigning by both Cochran and McDaniel leading up to the runoff.

“Regardless of your choice for a candidate, it is most important that you go vote,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said last week in a Daily Leader guest column.

“Less than 1,500 votes separated the top two candidates in the Republican Senate primary election,” Hosemann said. “Every vote counts.”

The winner of the Republican Senate runoff will face Democratic nominee Travis Childers in the Nov. 4 general election, while the winner of the Democratic congressional primary will face Republican nominee, incumbent Gregg Harper.