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Absentee voting has begun for primaries

Republican and Democratic primaries will take place in Mississippi on March 10. For those unavailable to vote on Election Day, absentee voting began Monday. Absentee ballots must be turned in by March 7.

“We started today,” Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield said Monday. “We’ve already had a few people come in. You can start voting absentee now.”

Many residents may be out of town on vacation on March 10. Spring break begins March 9 for the Brookhaven School District, Lincoln County Public Schools and Brookhaven Academy.

The 2020 primary is an important one, and as with any presidential primary, bigger than usual numbers can be expected. In the 2016 presidential primaries, 8,500 voters in Lincoln County participated.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Feb. 10. Voters can register at Bairfield’s office at the Lincoln County Courthouse, or submit an application by mail using the application forms at www.sos.ms.gov.

For people who can’t get away from work on weekdays, Bairfield said his office will be open on three Saturdays — Feb. 8, Feb. 29 and March 7. Each day the office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon. On Feb. 8, visitors will also have the chance to register to vote for the primary.

If an election ends in a runoff — something Bairfield said could happen with the Democratic primary for United States Senate — the runoff Election Day will take place on March 31.

If you vote in the primary, you must remain with that party if you vote in a runoff. If you did not vote in the primary, you can vote either way in a runoff, he said.

In Mississippi, primary elections are conducted by political parties to choose who will run in the general election. Only the Republican and Democratic parties are represented in the primary in Lincoln County because no other party has a committee in the county.

Bairfield also noted that his office will be open to the public during poll worker training dates, including Thursday beginning at 6 p.m., Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. and Feb. 29 at 9 a.m.

Republican Primary Ballot

For U.S. President

• Roque ‘Rocky’ De La Fuente

• Donald J. Trump

• Bill Weld

For U.S. Senate

• Cindy Hyde-Smith

For U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District

• Michael Guest

• James Tulp

Democratic Primary Ballot

For U.S. President

• Joseph R. Biden

• Michael R. Bloomberg

• Pete Buttigieg

• Tulsi Gabbard

• Amy Klobuchar

• Deval Patrick

• Bernie Sanders

• Tom Steyer

• Elizabeth Warren

• Andrew Yang

For U.S. Senate

• Tobey Bernard Bartee

• Jensen Bohren

• Mike Espy

For U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District

• Dorothy ‘Dot’ Benford

• Katelyn Lee