From Staff Reports
The ballot for the November Special Election for Dist. 1 Supervisor is set.
The qualifying deadline came and went earlier this month with no last minute additions, leaving current-serving supervisor James Radcliff and Dillon McInnis as the lone candidates seeking the post.
Both men are Leakesville residents and businessmen. Radcliff has been serving as the interim supervisor since last September when the other four current members of the county board appointed him to replace longtime county supervisor G.L. Dearman, who passed away in August 2020 at the age of 79 after contracting COVID-19.
Radcliff challenged Dearman in the 2019 election cycle. He came up short in that bid, but was unanimously approved by the board to fill the vacant post for the 14-month period until the special election could be held.
McInnis, who is the husband of one of Dearman’s granddaughters, was also considered for the post after his passing.
The special election is an open ticket, with all qualified candidates, regardless of party affiliation, running on the same ballot. However, Radcliff and McInnis both identify as Republicans.
The race between the two men is the only one on the Nov. 2 Special Election ballot. Only registered voters who live and are registered to vote in Dist. 1 can participate. Voters casting their ballots in person on election day will do so in the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church in Leakesville as the regular precinct location, the Leakesville Community Center, is currently being used as a COVID treatment center. No other precincts in the county will be open.
This will be the first election held using the county’s new voting machines. All ballots cast now, according to Greene County Circuit Clerk Cecelia Bounds, will be via paper ballots, which will be scanned into the election equipment by the voter at the precinct. The paper ballots will be available in case the election is contested.
Voters eligible to vote by absentee ballot can do so beginning Monday, Sept. 20. Absentee voting will continue until noon on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Voters must meet certain qualifications to vote absentee (be over 65, disabled, working out of town, students living on campus, etc.). Bounds said her office will also be open until noon on Saturday, Oct. 23, to accommodate absentee voters.
The deadline to register as a voter for the special election is Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. The clerk’s office will be open until noon on Saturday, Oct. 2, for voter registration.
Voters who have moved within the county (from Sand Hill to Leakesville for example) should update their registration as soon as possible, but can do so until noon on Oct. 30. Voter registration can be updated in person in the clerk’s office or online at www.yallvote.sos.ms.gov.
Bounds reminds voters that social distancing will be encouraged at the precinct and when casting an absentee ballot in person at her office.