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Election should have large voter turnout

By Zack Steen

Daily Corinthian

Tuesday's midterm election is shaping up to be one of the biggest for Alcorn County.

Deputy Circuit Clerk Crystal Starling said the office has received more than 685 absentees so far with one day still left to vote. She said if that high number is any indication, Tuesday's election day turnout will be impressive.

"Normally for a midterm, we'll only see a couple hundred absentees "" we are well over that number," Starling told the Daily Corinthian on Friday afternoon.

What's the hot race ahead of election day?

Starling said the most talk and questions have surrounded the special election U.S. Senate race and the ballot that features no party affiliations listed beside candidate names.

"It is very important that everyone understands why this is happening "" it's state law," she said. "Special elections in Mississippi are nonpartisan and party affiliations will not be printed on the ballot. All candidates "" regardless of what party they represent "" will appear on the same ballot."

Starling said the office has received questions concerning the two judge races for Chancery and Circuit judges, as well.

"These are important to note, because judges are not allowed to declare a party affiliation "" they must run nonpartisan," said the deputy clerk.

She said some Kossuth area voters may question why the district 4 school board race isn't appearing on their ballot.

"Only those who live in the Shady Grove area and most of Kossuth will see a contested school board race," added Starling. "Not all Kossuth voters live within district 4 as zoned by the school board."

Absentee voting will continue on Saturday through noon at the second floor circuit clerk's office in the county courthouse.

Starling said anyone with questions should visit or call the office prior to Tuesday's election. Paper sample ballots can also be picked up at the office.

Polls will be open at the 17 county precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, and voters are reminded of the photo I.D. requirement. Anyone who does not have a photo I.D. can get one at the clerk's office at the courthouse.

Starling noted a runoff election is likely and will take place on Nov. 27.

Contested races appearing on the ballot:

• U.S. Senate

David Beria - Democrat - state representative and house minority leader from Pascagoula

Roger Wicker - Republican - incumbent since 2007

Danny Bedwell - Libertarian - businessman from Columbus

Shawn O'Hara - Reform - former Reform Party chairman from Canton

• U.S. Senate Special Election (party will not be listed on ballot)"

Toby Bernard Bartee - Democrat - former city councilman from Gautier"

Mike Espy - Democrat - former U.S. secretary of agriculture and former U.S. representative

Cindy Hyde-Smith - Republican - incumbent appointed to seat in April and former state commissioner of agriculture

Chris McDaniel - Republican - state senator from Laurel

• U.S. House of Representative - 1st Congressional District

Trent Kelly - Republican - incumbent since 2015 from Union

Randy Mack Wadkins - Democrat - Ole Miss chemistry instructor from Iuka

Tracella Lou O'Hara Hill - Reform - from Petal

• Chancery Judge, District 1 Place 1 (nonpartisan)

Nathaniel Clark - prosecutor for Tishomingo County, City of Iuka and Youth Court, attorney for City of Iuka and Tishomingo County schools from Iuka

Lisa Ann Koon - attorney from Prentiss County with law office in Tishomingo County

Brad Tennison - Prentiss County public defender from Booneville

Daniel Tucker - City of Booneville and Northeast Mississippi Community College attorney from Booneville

• Circuit Judge, District 1 Place 3 (nonpartisan)

Sadie Gardner - assistant district attorney for the First Judicial District from Tupelo

Kelly Mims - Town of Plantersville attorney from Lee County

Brian Neely - assistant district attorney for the First Judicial District from Tupelo

• School Board, District 4 (nonpartisan)"

Mary Kathryn Coleman - incumbent since 2006 from Kossuth"

Carroll Mason - Mississippi Polymers account from Kossuth