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Election season still far from over

The first round of 2003 voting has come and gone inMississippi.

In Lincoln County, there was some good news and there was somebad news.

Among the good news: 11,482 registered voters took park in theelection process.

Bad news: 13,570 — more than half of the registered voters inthe county — stayed home on election day.

Good news: Just two hours after the polls closed Tuesday night,election officials had counted and reported totals from 11Democratic precincts and all of the Republican precincts.

Bad news: Due to a problem with the vote counting equipment, itwas almost midnight before the rest of the totals were known. Onceagain, Lincoln Countians were forced to wait for election resultslong after residents of neighboring counties had heard theirresults and gone to bed.

More bad news: Two candidates have asked for recounts of theirparticular races, and both cite problems with the vote countingmachine among their reasons.

Good news: There were some winners.

Bad news: There were some losers.

But, that’s politics.

We hope voters realize that the election process is far fromover this year. There are still some important races to be decided.The second primary — or runoff — is set for August 26. Here’swhat will be on the ballot for those who voted the Democraticticket in Lincoln County:

* In the sheriff’s race, pending the outcome of a recount nextweek, incumbent Lynn Boyte will face Post 1 Constable WileyCalcote. The eventual winner will face Republican Charley Evans andJames Williams Jr., who is running as an independent, in theNovember general election.

* In District 5, incumbent Supervisor Gary Walker faces Bob K.Smith. The winner goes on to face Republican Michael Assink inNovember.

* In the District 1 supervisor’s race, voters will choosebetween the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson and Larry J. Boyd. The winner willface Republican Joe Jones on Nov. 4.

* In the Post 1 Constable race, Charles Ralph Smith Jr. andDonald R. “Don” Smith are in a runoff. The winner will faceRepublican Donald Golmon in November.

* Although unofficial returns declared incumbent Post 2Constable W. Lavon Boyd the winner Tuesday, a recount could alsoforce a runoff in this race on August 26.

* In the 14th Circuit Court District District Attorney’s race,McComb lawyer Dewitt T. “Dee” Bates Jr. faces Assistant DistrictAttorney Hilton Miller.

*For state treasurer, state Sen. Robert H. “Rob” Smith and GaryAnderson are in a runoff.

* For Republicans, Tate Reeves and Wayne Burkes are in a runofffor the state treasurer nomination.

Bad news: Mississippi does not have open primary voting. Thatmeans if you voted Republican in the first primary, you cannot votein the Democratic runoff.

Good news: The American election process is not perfect, butit’s still the best in the world.

Take part in it. Vote.