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Two races highlight local ballot

MISSING: Registered voters in Lincoln County.

DESCRIPTION: Various ages, heights and weights, numbering about24,000.

LAST SEEN: Nov. 4, 2008.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of local voters,please tell them to get out and vote in the general electionTuesday. Remind them how embarrassing it was last time, when only347 of them showed up to vote in the primary on June 1.

Admittedly, the general election on Nov. 2 isn’t exactly the mostexciting political contest Lincoln County has seen – only one localrace and one national race are contested. Even in the best-casescenario, it won’t match the turnout two years ago, whenapproximately 16,400 local voters cast ballots in the presidentialelection.

But Tuesday’s election is still important to Lincoln County, andvotes still matter. The doors to the county’s 32 polling placeswill open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and operate for 12 hours until 7p.m.

“With the times we’re living in now, everybody should get out andvote,” said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins. “Youcan’t take anything for granted. If the person you want in there isgoing to get in there, one vote can make a difference.”

The biggest race on this year’s ballot is the contest for the 3rdCongressional District, where Democratic candidate Joel Gill, themayor of Pickens, is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper,R-Pearl. Both men faced off for the same seat in 2008, when Harpercaptured two-thirds of the county’s ballots.

Reform Party candidate Tracella Lou O’Hara Hill is the third-partycontestant in that race.

The only other contested race on the ballot Tuesday will bereserved for those in Lincoln County’s District Three, where fourcandidates are jostling for a seat on the county electioncommission.

Gloria Brown, D-Norfield; Barbara Davis, R-Brookhaven; Rachel ColeGatlin, R-Ruth; and Mike Walley, D-Enterprise are competing for theseat. A runoff will be held Nov. 23 if no candidate receives amajority of Tuesday’s vote.

Their race is a special election to take over for the late BennonCase, who died in June while serving his second term on thecommission.

All other candidates on the ballot are running unopposed. Theyinclude Jess H. Dickinson for Mississippi Supreme Court, Joe Leefor the Court of Appeals, Edward E. Patten for Chancery Court, MikeTaylor for Circuit Court (District 14, Place 1) and David Strongfor Circuit Court (District 14, Place 2).

Residents of District Five can vote for Lincoln County School Boardincumbent Michael Posey in that uncontested race.

Election rules will be in effect. No clothing, buttons, signs orother material advertising a political party or candidate will beallowed within 150 feet of the polling place, and bailiffs will behand to enforce the rules.

County voting precincts will be used in Tuesday’s elections. Anyonewho runs into confusion during the voting process – like notknowing which precinct to vote at – may call the circuit clerk’soffice at 601-835-3435 for guidance.