Election commission race remains undecided

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2000

Karoline Finch, left, tallies the vote Wednesday evening at the Warren County Courthouse as affidavit ballots from District 5 are read out. Counting are election commissioners, from left, James “Mac” McMullin, District 4; LaShondra Williams, District 3; Gordon “Motor” Carr, District 5, Finch’s opponent; Johnny Brewer, District 1; and Retha Summers, District 2. (The Vicksburg Post/MARK J. ARMSTRONG)

After affidavit ballots were counted in the District 5 returns Wednesday, the race for the Warren County Election Commission seat moved even closer.

Adding 16 affidavit votes to her tally from Tuesday’s election results, election commission hopeful Karoline Finch, a Republican, moved to within four votes of the incumbent, Gordon “Motor” Carr, also Republican.

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“It’s still not over yet,” Finch said.

Carr gained six of the affidavit votes to bring his total from 2,005 to 2,011. Finch moved from 1,991 to 2,007.

Most affidavit ballots are those accepted at polling places from people who say they should be listed on poll books, but are not. Election commissioners, in turn, verify the eligibility of the voter and count those ballots from people who should have been allowed to vote.

“Well, Carr, are you going to get any rest tonight?” Finch asked her opponent after the ballots were read.

“No,” he replied.

Although Carr holds the lead in the race, an unknown number of ballots that could not scan in the election machines Tuesday will have to be counted by hand to determine the outcome.

The election commission began counting those ballots this morning.

In two other contested election commission races on Warren County ballots, both incumbents were easily re-elected in voting Tuesday.

In the District 4 race, Republican James “Mac” McMullin won a third term over his challenger Bobbie Williamson, an independent.

Democrat LaShondra Williams was elected to her first full term on the election commission representing District 3 over her opponent, Republican Nancy Clingan.

District 1 incumbent Johnny Brewer and District 2’s LaShondra Williams were both unopposed on the ballot.

A runoff will decide who will win in the special election to fill the vacant coroner’s post, which also was on Warren County ballots Tuesday.

Ronald C. Regan and John Thomason will face off again for the post on Nov. 21. In Tuesday’s voting, Regan had 6,172 votes to Thomason’s 5,598. Their names appeared along with three others’.

Neither had the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win the race.

Election commissioners work on a per diem basis to maintain voter rolls, hire poll workers and perform many other tasks in conducting elections. Their district lines are the same as those for county supervisors.