New Albany Municipal Clerk Frankie Roberts said qualified voters can begin casting absentee ballots for the June 8 general election starting Tuesday.
Typically, absentee ballots are to be available about 45 days before an election. There are ready here now because no runoff election was needed. If it had been held it would have been today and ballots for June 8 could not be approved until runoff results were certified.
Some races were settled in the party primaries so each voter will only have two or three offices to make choices concerning
Incumbent Republican mayor Tim Kent is being challenged by Democrat James Dean.
Incumbent alderman-at-large Keith Conlee is being challenged by Independent J. Lynn West.
Ward One will see Democrat Jessica Winston, Republican Ashley Kidd and Independent Parks Smith vying for the seat vacated by incumbent Amy Livingston’s decision not to seek re-election.
Ward Two will have Democrat Tim Johnson and Republican Drew Horn competing for the seat vacated by the retirement of long-time alderman Johnny Anderson.
Police Chief Chris Robertson had no challenger.
Democratic Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White and Republican Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker won their respective primaries and will be unchallenged in the June 8 general election.
Absentee ballots can be cast at City Hall, or by mail.
A properly registered voter can cast an absentee ballot early for reasons including:
- The voter’s being outside of his or her home county on Election Day.
- Being a student, teacher or administrator at a school whose studies or employment there necessitates absence from the voter’s home county on Election Day.
- Being the spouse or dependent of such voters above.
- Being disabled.
- Being the parent or spouse of a disabled person hospitalized outside the county and more than 50 miles away on Election Day.
- Being 65 years old or older.
- Being required to work Election Day throughout the polling hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To cast an absentee vote by mail, a voter needs to request a ballot from the municipal clerk, who will send an application and ballot with instructions on how to complete and return them.
The municipal clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, May 8, for voter registration. The deadline to register to vote is May 10 and a voter can register at City Hall or the circuit clerk’s office in the courthouse.
The clerk’s office will be open again, from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, May 29, this time for absentee voting.
The deadline for in-person absentee voting will be at noon Saturday, June 5, and Roberts’ office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon that day.
Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Municipal Clerk’s Office within five business days.
Two hundred and thirty-seven people cast ballots in the Democratic primary while 1,026 participated in the Republican primary (based on the mayor’s race). That’s about one-third of the registered voters.
Officials fear turnout for the June 8 general election may be even lower because some of the races have been settled and some people may be out of town for the beginning of after-school summer.
New Albany municipal primary elections were moved to the renovated community center on Wilson Street. Election officials said they were pleased with the move so the June 8 vote will be there, probably along with subsequent elections.
The change of venue afforded much more space and avoided traffic problems with residents who needed to use county courthouse services.
It was thought that lack of parking around the community center might be a problem but voters were able to move in and out fairly quickly most of the day and it was rare for anyone to have to park more than half a block away.
Although the focus has been on New Albany elections so far, nearly all Mississippi municipalities will go to the polls as well.
An exception of the Town of Myrtle. Because the exact number of candidates needed for aldermen and mayor qualified, state election officials said there was no practical reason to go to the trouble and expense of holding an election.
Serving for the next four years will be Mayor Micheal Canerday and Aldermen Milton McDonald, Cynthia Parks, Dustin Rasberry, Teresa Smith and Sean Wiginton.
The Village of Blue Springs was almost in the same situation but ended up with six candidates for the five at-large aldermen’s spots. They also have two candidates for mayor.
Incumbent mayor Rita Gentry is being challenged by Mike Walker.
Candidates for aldermen include Bradford Goodwin, Rhonda Pannell Horton, Jimmy Hutcheson, Kevin Rackley, Lorence Strange and Renna Tolbert.
All the candidates for aldermen are newcomers to Blue Springs politics. None of the five current aldermen-at-large chose to seek re-election.
The retiring aldermen are Shirley Allen, Rick Bradford, Lynda Bramlett, Andrew Grisham and Malcom Leath.
Anyone with questions about the New Albany election may call Municipal Clerk Frankie Roberts at 662-534-1010 or go to City Hall.
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