• 52°

Absentee votes few for runoffs

Absentee votes for the handful of Nov. 16 runoffs have been arejust trickling in, area circuit clerks said.

While Lincoln County has no runoff races, voters in Copiah,Franklin and Lawrence counties have a reason to return to the pollsTuesday or cast absentee ballots by the noon Saturday deadline.

County offices in Copiah, Franklin and Lawrence counties will beopen from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday to allow voters to castabsentee ballots. All county offices will be closed Thursday inobservance of Veterans Day.

In Lawrence County, voters in Districts One and Three and thosewho vote at the Nola or West Monticello precincts will cast theirvotes in the Post Two constable race for either Brad Davis or TonyR. Lambert.

In a Nov. 2 special election, voters pared down the list of sixcandidates to replace Claude Davis, who died of an illness while inoffice.

Davis led with 26.88 percent of the vote. Lambert finished with16.35 percent of the vote to face Davis in the runoff.

“It’s really up to the candidates to get the voters to turnout,” Circuit Clerk Cindy Stokes said. “So far, absentee voting hasbeen very low. We have three votes.”

In Franklin County, voters will decide between Jerry L. Howelland Sandra Fay Sullivan in a special election for District Foursupervisor. The winner will replace Robert Posey, who resignedearlier this year.

The contenders in the Franklin County race also emerged from asix-candidate field Nov. 2.

Howell captured the most votes Nov. 2, garnering 33.80 percent,while Sullivan received 24.06 percent of the 935 votes cast. Theremaining votes were split among the other four candidates.

Franklin County Circuit Clerk Millie Thornton said she expecteda very poor voter turnout for the runoff election. Her office hasreceived only seven or eight requests for absentee ballots, shesaid, and only one has been returned.

“It’s now or never,” she said. “We’re hoping for more to come inthis week.”

Candidates have also expressed concern about voter turnout,Thornton said.

“I just don’t think the people are going to turn out much forthis election,” she said. “It was the presidential election thatbrought them out before.”

Eddiceton, Lucien and McCall are the only precinctsparticipating in the Nov. 16 election, Thornton said.

Eddiceton voters will cast their ballots beside J&M Stop ‘N’Go on Highway 84. Lucien voters will cast theirs behind LucienBaptist Church on Highway 84. And McCall voters will cast theirs atthe McCall Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

While the runoffs in Lawrence and Franklin counties are certain,voters in Copiah County are not yet sure there will be a runoff.But officials are running under the assumption there will be, saida spokesperson with the Copiah County Circuit Clerk’s office.

The state Supreme Court race between Justice James Graves Jr.and Samac Richardson could be decided without a runoff based onabsentee and affidavit ballots still being counted.

Although Copiah County has certified all its general electionvotes, several counties in the court’s Central District have not.Of those counties, some have only to certify their vote totalswhile others must finish counting their absentee and affidavitballots.

An estimated 11,490 paper ballots remained uncounted Tuesday,according to The Associated Press.

Unofficial returns show Graves in the lead with 48 percent ofvotes, among four candidates, with Richardson, senior circuit courtjudge for Rankin and Madison counties, trailing with 31 percent ofthe vote. Graves would have to win 50 percent plus 1 vote to avoida runoff.

Enough votes remain uncounted for Graves mathematically to claimvictory.

The Copiah County Circuit Clerk’s Office had not received anyabsentee votes as of Tuesday.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.