RIPLEY – Election of three members to serve on the Tippah Electric Power Association board of directors goes into a runoff in early January, after two flawed elections and a third that has raised questions.
The board accepted results reported by the Franks, Franks amp& Jarrell accounting firm of Tupelo for the latest election, which had a ballot deadline of Dec. 15.
Based on those results, the top two vote-getters for each of the three seats will go into a runoff. The runoff candidates are:
- At large – Randy Waldon and Tim Needham (incumbent chose not to run)
- Area 1 – Shan Tidwell, incumbent, and Ricky Martin
- Area 4 – John Reid, incumbent, and Johnny Childs
Tippah Electric members who are eligible to vote will be sent ballots the week of Jan. 4, according to information provided by the power association. Deadline for ballots to be received by Franks, Franks amp& Jarrell will be Jan. 15.
Where earlier ballots were accompanied by prepaid stamped envelopes, the procedure for the runoff will require that voters put postage on their ballots to mail them.
The spokesman for a citizens group, which strongly supported a board election, expressed some concerns about the process after a special called meeting Monday.
“About 3,500 ballots were received by the CPA firm in the third ballot attempt out of approximately 10,800 ballots mailed to members,” John Stubbs wrote in his meeting summary. “The CPA firm did not state how many ballots were received after the cutoff date set by the board.”
Stubbs is president of the Tippah County Citizens Association, which vigorously worked for three candidates who ran for board seats. None of those candidates received enough votes to be in the runoff.
Stubbs, also a certified public accountant, earlier asked for access to the association’s membership rolls, which the association said it would purge to permit any member group with multiple addresses to have only one vote. He and board candidates also asked to review ballots after the votes were counted, a request the board approved at its Dec. 10 meeting.
On Monday, however, Stubbs said the board went back on that commitment.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal