General election voter registration deadline is Friday

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Citizens looking to participate in the Nov. 4 general electionfor some federal, state and county offices need to register to voteby Friday, state and local election officials said.

Friday is the last day to register and be eligible to vote inthe general election. Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry CaseWatkins said interest so far has been light.

“We haven’t received a great influx of people coming in,”Watkins said about voter registration. “It’s sort of beensteady.”

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Secretary of State officials said some circuit clerks’ officesin the state will be open extended hours this week and on Saturdayfor voter registration.

Watkins, however, said the Lincoln County office would not beopen extra hours. She said the office had be open on Saturdays andextended hours in past elections, but the response from citizenswas minimal.

“We’ll be open regular hours this week,” Watkins said.

Contested races on this year’s Lincoln County ballot includeU.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, a Southern District MississippiSupreme Court post; 14th District Circuit Court Judge and District4-West Lincoln’s seat on the Lincoln County School District Boardof Trustees.

Regarding judges, also on the ballot is a resolution to extendcircuit and chancery court judges’ terms from four years to sixyears. The resolution, if approved by a majority of voters, wouldtake effect in January.

In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochranfaces independent Shawn O’Hara in the Senate race. Democrats didnot field a candidate after the primary victor died and the othercandidate withdrew.

The U. S. Representative’s race pits Republican Chip Pickeringagainst Democrat Ronnie Shows. The two representative incumbentswere placed in the same district following redistricting thisyear.

Reform Party candidate Carroll Grantham of Hattiesburg,Libertarian Brad A McDonald of Hattiesburg and Independents HarveyDarden of Louisville and Jim Giles of Pearl are also on the ballotin that race.

In the state Supreme Court contest, incumbent Chuck McRae facesJess Dickinson and Larry Buffington. The justice post representsthe southern part of the state.

In the 14th Circuit Court District, which includes Lincoln, Pikeand Walthall counties, incumbents Keith Starrett and Mike Smithface challenges from two attorneys. McComb attorneys Charles Millerand Jack Price, who is also a city court judge, are in the raceagainst the sitting judges.

Court district voters will elect two judges in the circuit judgerace.

Runoffs in judges races will be held Nov. 19 if the leadingcandidate does not get a majority of the vote. The runoff will bebetween the top two vote-getters.

Unopposed candidates in regular and special elections this yearinclude 15th District Chancery Court Judge Ed Patten, DistrictAttorney Danny Smith, Coroner-Medical Examiner Clay McMorris,District 3 Election Commissioner Floy McClelland and County SchoolBoard member JoAnn Holmes of District 3-Bogue Chitto.

Absentee ballots have been ordered and absentee voting in thisyear’s election will begin when they arrive, Watkins said.

“We should be getting them any day now,” Watkins said.