Judicial race tops local ballot

November 3, 2016

Mississippi’s top election official is encouraging voters to head to the polls as the general election nears. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann was in Prentiss County last week as part of tour of the region meeting with local election officials ahead of next week’s election and said Mississippians should feel confident the election is in good hands with the area’s experienced officials. “This is not their first rodeo,” he said. Absentee voting concludes this Saturday for next Tuesday’s general election which will include the presidential race along with contested local races for District 1 school board member and Justice Court Judge North. The circuit clerk’s office will be open until noon on Saturday for the final day of in-person absentee voting. Polls will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Hosemann said despite claims by some national political figures about the possibility of election fraud, Mississippi’s election system will not and can not be hacked. “Mississippi’s election is not rigged and it’s not going to be rigged,” said the secretary. He explained the voting machines used in counties across the state are not connected to the Internet in any way and therefore are not vulnerable to being attacked. He also pointed to the army of election workers including over 10,000 poll workers, 410 election commissioners and 82 circuit clerks across the state who are working diligently to ensure the election goes off without a hitch. “We’re going to determine the will of the people,” he said. Hosemann noted the success of the state’s voter ID law which will be in use next week for the sixth time. He said in the last election 99.7 percent of people had their ID when they voted and his office has issued 5,300 free IDs to people who didn’t have an acceptable ID under the law. He said the law has proven to be a success and creates another barrier to any form of voter fraud. Next Tuesday’s election includes a mix of local and state races. Topping the ballot locally is the special election for Justice Court Judge North. The election will fill the remaining approximately 3 years on the current term for the office. The special election is necessary because former judge Debra Moore withdrew from last year’s county election after the qualifying deadline due to health reasons and was the only person to qualify to run for the office. Her husband, Trent Moore, has served as interim judge until this special election could be held. Candidates for the office are Jerry E. Bridges, Richard Franklin, Joe Grooms, Sabrina King Hall, Donna Lambert Inman, Jo Carol Knight, Tara Green Lauderdale, Kevin Harold Lindley, Dewayne Mink, Jeff Prentiss, Jimmy Wayne Russell, Billy Sartin, Richard Tollison and Billy N. Williams. If no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday, the top two candidates will face each other in a runoff election on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Incumbent Prentiss County District 1 school board member Jason McCoy will face challenger Perry Walden in the only other contested local race on the ballot. District 2 school board member Shelia Johnson is unopposed for reelection in the other school board position up for election this year. County election commissioners will also appear on the ballot with all incumbent commissioners unopposed for reelection. They are District 1 - Chris Lindley, District 2 - C.G. “Roddy” Jackson, District 3 - Harry Cowan, District 4 - Carolyn W. Jones and District 5 - Bobby Belue. National and state races on the ballot are: • President - Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Donald J. Trump (Republican), Darrell Castle (Constitution), Rocky Roque De La Fuente (American Delta), Jim Hedges (Prohibition), Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green) • U.S. House of Representatives District 1 - Trent Kelly (incumbent) (Republican), Jacob Owens (Democrat), Cathy L. Toole (Reform), Chase Wilson (Libertarian) • Mississippi Supreme Court District 3 Position 1 - John Brady, Bobby Chamberlin, Steve Crampton, James T. “Jim” Kitchens Jr. • Mississippi Supreme Court District 3, Position 2 - Jimmy Maxwell (incumbent) • Mississippi Court of Appeals District 1, Position 1 - Jim M. Greenlee (incumbent) • Chancery Court Judge District 1, Place 4 (special election) - TK Moffett (incumbent)