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From Staff Reports
Greene County voters turned out in impressive order on Tuesday to cast their ballots for their pick for president as well as a host of other offices and issues.
In the one local race that was contested, current Justice Court Judge Shannon Busby retained his position representing Post 2. Unofficial results Tuesday night showed Busby outpaced challenger Ryan Longmire by a 1,540-to-994 margin in the special election for the judicial seat. Busby finished second in the voting for the post last year, but was appointed to fill the position – until the special election could be held – after the winner of the 2019 election, Terrel Green, withdrew prior to being sworn into office. Busby has served in the position since January.
Unofficial results released late Tuesday show Greene County voters largely followed the pattern set in the rest of Mississippi with big margins of state and local voters supporting re-election bids for President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, while also giving a big win to the effort to legalize medical marijuana. However, while a vast majority of Mississippi voters approved of the proposed design for a new official state flag, Greene County voters were not as impressed.
With record numbers of voters in the county and state voting by absentee ballot and very strong turnout at the county’s 13 voting precincts, Greene County Circuit Clerk Cecelia Bounds called the turnout for the election “phenomenal”.
“It was the heaviest turnout I have seen in my 20 years doing this,” Bounds said.
While there were instances where lines formed at precincts and voters waited longer than usual to cast their ballots, Bounds said she felt election day went smoothly.
“All things considered I believe things went very smoothly,” Bounds said. “I think our election commissioners did a great job of planning and preparing.”
Greene County voters overwhelmingly supported President Donald J. Trump’s re-election bid with nearly 83 percent of all county voters choosing the Trump-Pence ticket. The Biden-Harris ticket, representing the Democratic Party, claimed just 952 votes in the county. The race remains too close to call nationally and could remain that way for some time as key states continue to tally vote totals. There is also a strong chance there will be court challenges to election procedures and outcomes in several states.
Likewise, local voters also supported Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith over Democratic Challenger Mike Espy and Libertarian Jimmy L. Edwards. Hyde-Smith claimed nearly 77 percent of county votes according to unofficial results and over 56 percent statewide to maintain her position in Washington.
Greene County voters also overwhelmingly supported the initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state. In the two-step voting process, 61 percent of county voters chose to approve either Initiative 65 or alternative 65A and over 71 percent then voted in favor of the pro-marijuana Initiative 65, compared to just 28.54 percent for the legislative alternative (65A). Those totals closely mirrored statewide results as the push for legal medical marijuana was approved.
Greene County voters narrowly rejected the proposed new state flag, voting ‘NO’ (or against the proposed flag design) by a 54-to-46 percent margin. However, the flag referendum passed statewide with nearly 72 percent of Mississippi voters voting in favor of what is commonly referred to as the ‘In God We Trust Flag’.
Greene County Election Commissioners Stacy A. Wilson, Lisa Bivens, Deborah Freeman, Beth Ross and Terri Denmark were all unopposed in their re-election bids, as was Dist. Five Board of Education member Robin McCoy.
Election results will not be official until at least Nov. 12.