By Patsy R. Brumfield / NEMS Daily Journal
Statement from Secretary Hosemann on the Special Election
“Since polls opened at 7:00 am, the Secretary of State’s Office has been in contact with all counties in the Northern part of the State to ascertain if any issues arose due to inclement weather.
Our initial inquiries indicate these counties were able to open the precincts. Our Circuit Clerks and local election officials performed a tremendous job opening polling locations, despite inclement weather conditions. I commend their efforts.
While circumstances are not ideal for casting a ballot I encourage all Mississippians in areas holding a Special Election to vote. Voting is our most important right. Our fellow citizens are risking their lives so you can cast a ballot. I encourage you to exercise that privilege today.”
Vote goes on despite weather
Today’s special elections will go on as planned, despite the snowstorm that blanketed North Mississippi on Monday.
Gov. Haley Barbour, after consulting with the secretary of state and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, announced Monday that the elections for state Senate District 6 and Northern District Transportation commissioner will be held as scheduled.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann advised voters to go to the polls later, rather than earlier, in expectation of better weather.
State Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, said Barbour was right to stick with the Jan. 11 date.
“I think it’s going to be difficult,” said Bryan, who’s served 24 years on the Senate Elections Committee. “But I think we would do well to think a long time about the consequences of canceling elections.”
“We have lots of bad weather. Changing an election date would need to be such a clear-cut emergency that no one would object to – like a hurricane.”
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Poll workers must arrive even earlier to get the locations ready.
Mike Kelly, Prentiss County’s circuit clerk, said he’s asked for help from the sheriff’s office and county supervisors to get many of his poll workers there on time.
“That’s my biggest concern,” he said Monday afternoon in the wake of a 9-inch snowfall.
Mary Alice Busby, Lafayette County’s circuit clerk, said her office was ready for the vote, despite as much as 10 inches of snow overnight Sunday into Monday.
“So far,” she said Monday, “it’s working out.”
Six candidates are on the ballot to become the new state senator for District 6, which includes much of Lee County and a small portion of Pontotoc County. The vacancy occurred when Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo was elected to the U.S. House in November.
Seven candidates seek the Transportation Commission seat vacated last fall with the death of Bill Minor of Holly Springs.
If none receives a majority of votes cast, a runoff is set for Feb. 1.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.