By JOEL McNEECE
Absentee voting is underway for the Nov. 8 general election, but many questions linger concerning a special election scheduled for the same date in the Senate District 8 race.
Russell Jolly, Democrat, of Houston, and Patsy Gregory, Republican, of Okolona, are scheduled to face off on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot, but a special election may also be held to determine who will serve in the position for the remainder of November and December. The winner in the General Election will take office in January.
The position has been vacant since the death of Sen. Jack Gordon in May. The remainder of his term, which expires at the end of December, will either be held by the winner of the Nov. 8 special election, or the governor will likely have to appoint someone for the 52 days remaining in the term.
Qualifying for the special election ends Oct. 9. As of press time, there were no qualifiers for the special election.
Marshall W. Coleman, of Calhoun City, continues to contest the results of the Democratic Primary in the race in which he missed making a runoff with Jolly by 44 votes.
Coleman cited “voting irregularities” in Grenada and Chickasaw counties that may have swayed the vote by the 44 votes he needed. The State Democratic Party and Election Commission dismissed Coleman's claims at a hearing in Jackson last month.
Last Friday, Coleman filed papers in Grenada County Circuit Court seeking a “judicial review” of the election returns.
Due to the late qualifying deadline for the potential special election, it will not be listed on the ballot with the other races on Nov. 8.
The circuit clerk's office was notified Monday, Sept. 26 that the special election will have to be conducted on a separate paper ballot at the polls.
The paper ballots for the special election will then have to be hand counted by the poll workers at each precinct on election night.
The deadline for citizens to register to vote to participate in the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 8.