Photos by Sue WatsonPaper mail-in and absentee ballots were checked by the resolution board before being counted by a scanner. From left, around the table, are Angela Spindle, Coretta Craine, Wanda Scott, Kendall Pierce, Monet Autry (standing) and Susie Murphy.
John Brown served as poll manager for the voting precinct at the Holly Springs Fire Department.
Election turnout strong in county
Marshall County experienced a strong voter turnout in the November 3 election — one of the best ever.
Sixty-seven percent of eligible voters marked ballots — 16,113 of the 24,097 registered.
“Everything went as planned,” said circuit clerk Monet Autry, in her first term and overseeing her first election. “We did have long lines at the opening of the polls, however, people were patient because they wanted to vote.”
There were 13,109 machine voters; 2,534 absentee (as of November 3), 171 curbside votes; eight no ID voters; and 291 affidavits.
All results are unofficial. Absentee ballots could still be received through November 9. No ID affidavit voters may produce their ID up until November 10, Autry said, and those ballots will be counted/scanned on November 12.
One local race will be headed to a Tuesday, Nov. 24, runoff. For School Board District 5, Kerry Hale led the ticket with 948 votes (46 percent), and he will face Mary P. Houston, who got 480 votes (23 percent), in the runoff. Thomas Crouch received 405 and Wanda Payton-McNeil 223.
There were three contested races for election commissioner on the ballot.
In District 1, Jamarr “Jack” Walton defeated incumbent Sheri Anne McClatchy 1,494 votes to 807.
In District 2, Marsha Taylor won a three-person race. Taylor received 1,637 votes (57 percent). Trailing were Jerry Yarbrough with 672 votes and Sarah Skillman Preciado, 570 votes.
Incumbent Marie Palmer did not seek re-election as District 2 election commissioner.
In District 4, election commissioner Naomi Thomas Taylor was re-elected in a close vote. She received 1,390 to challenger Jacqueline Simon’s 1,237, a difference of 153 votes.
For President of the United States, Marshall Countians favored the Democratic ticket of Joseph R. Biden for President and Kamala D. Harris for Vice President. They received 8,002 votes to 7,525 for the Republican ticket, incumbents Donald J. Trump for President and Michael R. Pence for Vice President.
National news outlets reported Saturday that Biden/Harris had been elected.
For United States Senate, Democrat Mike Espy was the top choice in Marshall County with 8,537 votes. Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith received 6,867.
Statewide, Hyde-Smith was re-elected to the Senate seat.
Republican Trent Kelly was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Marshall County, he had 7,579 votes to 6,922 for Democrat Antonia Eliason.
Josiah Dennis Coleman was re-elected to his seat (District 3, Position 3) on the Mississippi Supreme Court. In Marshall County he received 7,558 votes to Percy L. Lynchard’s 4,342.
Marshall Countians joined Mississippians in approving a medical marijuana program. The same held true for
House Concurrent Resolution No. 47. It requires in Mississippi, to be elected to a statewide office, a candidate must receive the majority of the votes in the General Election. The requirement of receiving the most votes in a majority of state House of Representatives districts is removed.
Plus, Marshall Countians and Mississippians overwhelmingly approved a new state flag featuring the words “In God We Trust.”
Autry commended others for their contributions to the overall smooth election process in Marshall County.
“I am really pleased with our poll managers we had in place on Election Day,” she said. “Because of COVID-19, we had to replace poll managers at the last minute and nothing but positive feedback so far.
“And sometimes we overlook the very people who matter the most, and I wanted to let Marshall County citizens know how much I appreciate my deputy clerks for their hard work and dedication to Marshall County. They are essential workers and deserve all the credit for the absentee process.
“Also, the election commissioners were there every step, pushing us as well, and ensuring the machines worked properly and the poll managers were in place on Election Day with all essential information necessary to run an efficient election.”
In the runoff race for Marshall County School Board, District 5, absentee ballots will be available as soon as possible. Contact the circuit clerk’s office at 252-3434 for more information. Polls in that district will be open from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24.