Election interest high but more than a third of absentee ballots not yet returned 

NEMiss.News Absentee ballots Dulaney and Stanford
(L-R)Camille Roberts Dulaney, Lee County Circuit Clerk and Phyllis Stanford, Union County Circuit Clerk



While election day – November 3 – is still three weeks off, circuit clerks around Mississippi have been busy for weeks with election work.

Although polls suggest President Donald Trump could have a 10-point lead over his Democratic challenger, former Vice-President Joe Biden, in the Mississippi vote, that race is still drawing a lot of interest in the state. Here and throughout the nation the race for president is among the most bitterly contested elections in modern times.

A U.S. Senate race in Mississippi is also drawing strong interest.

Republican Governor Phil Bryant appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith to the senate when veteran Senator Thad Cochran was forced to resign because of bad health in April, 2018. The Trump administration reportedly did not support the Hyde-Smith appointment because she had served in public office in Mississippi as a Democrat and had switched to the Republican Party only in 2010.

However, Trump endorsed Hyde-Smith in August 2018 when she was running in the non-partisan election to serve the last two years of the six-year term to which Cochran had been elected 2014.

The president flew to Mississippi to campaign for Hyde-Smith before the November 6 election. However, she failed to get a majority in the November 6, 2018, vote and faced former Democratic Congressman and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy in a run-off. Trump again flew to Mississippi on Monday, November 25. The next day she defeated Espy in the run-off with 52.8 percent of the vote in the run-off.

Hyde-Smith faces Espy again in the Nov. 3, 2020, election. Polls indicate the election could be quite close this time. Espy has run a well-financed campaign against Hyde-Smith, and she has refused to face Espy in a public debate.

There is speculation about whether the president will again come to Mississippi to campaign to save the senate seat for Hyde-Smith. He himself faces what is expected to be a close vote for re-election. Some say he must spend his time in swing states such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

However, Trump being Trump, it will not be a surprise if the big government jet comes yet a third time in less than 27 months to Mississippi to support Hyde-Smith. Her entire campaign has been based on the premise that she has absolutely, unfailingly supported the president in every instance. Can President Trump resist assuring a rubber stamp vote in his hip pocket if he is re-elected?

The Secretary of State reported that 58,796 absentee ballots had been received by circuit clerks around the state as of Sunday, Oct. 11.

  • In Lee County, the office of Circuit Clerk Camille Roberts Dulaney reported 2,102 absentee ballots had been requested, and 1,366 (65%) have been returned.
  • The Pontotoc County circuit clerk’s office had received requests for 686 absentee ballots and 456 (66%) had been returned.
  • In Tippah County, 457 absentee ballots had been requested and 301 (66%) returned as of Sunday.
  • Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford’s office had had requests for 609 absentee ballots and 449 (74%) had been returned.

Statewide, 91,474 absentee ballots had been requested and 58,796 (64%) had been returned as of Sunday.

The voter registration deadline was a week ago on Monday, Oct. 5.

The time for voting absentee by mail is rapidly running out, but registered voters can still vote at the offices of the circuit clerk in the county in which they are registered.

Cindy-Hyde Smith avoids reporters: http://www.nemiss.news/cindy-hyde-smith-dont-talk-to-news-reporters/

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