Deadline Friday afternoon to register to vote Nov. 7

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2000

With 32 days to go until elections for president, Congress, one countywide seat, election commission spots and one local school board position, potential voters are descending on the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office to sign up to vote.

To be eligible, citizens must register with the clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Friday. So far this week, more than 100 have registered, said Circuit Clerk Larry Ashley.

“It’s going to pick up, too,” he said.

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The office is also now accepting absentee ballots for the Nov. 7 general election. Mailed absentee ballots must be received by the clerk’s office by Nov. 6, or voters can cast absentee ballots at the courthouse by Nov. 4.

Registered voters who choose to apply to vote by absentee ballot must meet certain criteria. Voters who may qualify must be away from their county of residence on the election day, be 65 years of age or older or be physically disabled.

Voters in Mississippi are not required to register with any political party and are required to vote along party lines only during primary elections. During general elections, all candidates appear on one ballot and voters cast their vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliations.

In last year’s general election, which included the governor’s race and a non-binding referendum on the future of the U.S. 80 Mississippi River bridge, 14,922 people cast ballots in Warren County. In 1996, during the last presidential election, a record turnout was recorded with 18,829 out of 26,000 registered voters.

As of March, 30,633 Warren County residents were eligible to vote.

Friday is also the last day for candidates to file for a position on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees.

Board President Zelmarine Murphy, who represents District 2, so far is unopposed in her bid for re-election. Murphy, who holds the only one of five school board positions up for election this year, is seeking her third six-year term.

In addition to the presidential race, Warren County ballots will include a U.S. senator’s and U.S. representative’s race.

Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican from the Gulf Coast, is running for a third six-year term against Democrat Troy Brown Sr., Libertarian Lewis Napper, Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara and independent Jim Giles.

In the 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, will face Republican nominee Hardy Caraway, Libertarian William Chipman and Reform Party candidate Lee Dilworth. Thompson has been the representative of Warren and 21 other counties for eight years.

In local races, five candidates are vying to fill the vacant coroner’s position. The names of Ronald C. Regan, Allen Maxwell, Mark Morgan, Wanda Shay Clark Odom and John A. Thomason III will appear on the special election ballot.

In the Warren County Election Commission races, three out of five incumbents face challengers this November. James E. McMullin will face Bobbie Williamson in the District 4 race.

District 3’s LaShondra Williams will run against Nancy Clingan, former chairman of Vicksburg’s Civil Service Commission.

In District 5, Gordon Carr is challenged by Karoline Finch.

Lena Corbin in District 1 and District 2’s Retha Summers face no opposition, but disqualified candidate Johnny Brewer is looking to be added to the District 1 race ballot.

Warren County Circuit Court Judge Frank Vollor, 52, will seek to upset one-term incumbent Jim Smith, 57, for the Mississippi Supreme Court District 1 Position 3 spot.