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Polls are open Tuesday — Cast your vote

Voters heading to the polls Tuesday will see 16 hopefuls on the ballot, each trying to win enough of the vote to avoid a runoff and secure their place in the November election.

The election will eliminate a majority of the candidates, narrowing the fields competing for seats in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and voters will be able to chose one primary for voting.

Following Gregg Harper’s decision not to run for re-election, six Republicans and two Democrats added their names to the ballot for Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District.

The Republican candidates are:

• Sally Doty, a 51-year-old state senator from Brookhaven.

• Morgan Dunn, a 36-year-old healthcare consultant from Magee.

• Michael Guest, a 48-year-old district attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties.

• Whit Hughes, a 43-year-old former CEO of Baptist Health Systems from Madison.

• Perry Parker, a 52-year-old “cattleman” and retired financial services executive.

• Katherine “Bitzi” Tate, a 61-year-old retired educator of Mississippi and Texas.

The Democrats are:

• Michael Ted Evans, a 42-year-old state representative and poultry farmer from Kemper County.

• Michael Aycox, a 30-year-old disabled veteran and Newton investigator.

In the senate race, six Democrats and one Republican will challenge Roger Wicker for his Senate seat.

Wicker, a 66-year-old senator who has represented Mississippi since 2007, will face challenger Richard Boyanton, a 69-year-old veteran and business owner.

Democrats include: David Baria, a 57-year-old state representative; Jensen Bohren; a 35-year-old teacher; Jerone Garland, a 59-year-old chemist; Victor G. Maurice, a 40-year-old veteran and concrete contractor; Omeria Scott, a 61-year-old state representative; and Howard Sherman, a 63-year-old entrepreneur and the husband of actress Sela Ward.

Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield expects a low voter turnout based on the small number of absentee ballots received.

For this election, his office received 237 absentee ballots, about a quarter of what a county or municipal election brings.

There are 20,509 active voters in Lincoln County.

Bairfield said it’s a privilege to vote.

“Our men and women have paid the ultimate price for us to keep that freedom,” he said. “So it’s very important not only to do it to recognize them that served before us, but also to choose who you want to represent you, so that’s your contact and your face on a local level but who will also represent you in Washington.”

Only registered voters will be allowed to cast votes.  Photo identification must be presented at the poll to vote.  If no photo identification is presented, an affidavit vote may be cast, but photo identification must be submitted to the circuit clerk’s office within five days after the election.

A runoff, if necessary, will be held June 26.

Story by Gracie Byrne