Coleman, Jolly examine ballots in Chickasaw

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – The election in Chickasaw County has been certified but some people are still counting ballots.
Senate District 8 candidate Marshall Coleman asked to exam the Aug. 2 Democratic primary ballot boxes and they were opened for him at 9 a.m. Friday. Coleman and opponent Russell Jolly were still examining ballots at 5 p.m.
“I haven’t found anything I really want to talk about at this time,” said Coleman, 53, a Calhoun City businessman and alderman. “There are a couple of discrepancies. I will turn them over to the Democratic Executive committee.”
Russell Jolly, 55, a McCondy resident and cattleman, won in the Chickasaw County Democratic primary for State Senate District 8 with 3,146 votes, or 58 percent.
He was followed by Sherman Carouthers of Okolona at 1,333 votes and Coleman with 892 votes.
Across the district, Jolly received 6,044, which was 51 percent of the tally. Coleman had 3,251, or 27 percent, followed by Carouthers with 2,650, or 22 percent.
Jolly said he filed the paperwork to examine ballot boxes after learning Coleman was going to look at votes.
“The reason I was here and asked to examine the ballots was so I could have standing in the examination,” Jolly said. “If I had not asked to examine the ballots I couldn’t have touched the ballots if a discrepancy is found.”
Mississippi does not have a recount law for primary elections, but a dissatisfied candidate can ask the circuit court to consider the results or call a new election.
Primary elections are run by political parties. Candidates who have cause for concern must go through the local political executive committee who could deny the claim, ask for a re-vote in a particular precinct or a new election. The final recourse would be a lawsuit filed in circuit court.
“I feel I am 44 votes away from a runoff,” Coleman said. “I am not accusing anybody of anything. I just want to look at the boxes and make sure the will of the people is done.”
Jolly is the official winner in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary and will face Republican Patsy Gregory, 58, of Okolona, in November’s general election.
The District 8 post became vacant when longtime Sen. Jack Gordon died in May.
District 8 covers all of Chickasaw and portions of Lee, Calhoun and Grenada counties.