City ballots arrive for absentee votes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2001

City Clerk Walter Osborne checks municipal election ballots as they arrive at his office Monday afternoon. (The Vicksburg Post/ROB MAXWELL)

[03/20/01] Absentee ballots for Vicksburg’s three party primary races arrived at the City Clerk’s Office Tuesday and will be available to qualified voters after they are approved by the city’s election commission.

Once approved, ballots will be available at the clerk’s office in City Hall until April 28 or can be received by mail no later than April 30. Party primary election day is May 1, six weeks from Tuesday.

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Mississippi law allows registered voters who will be away from their county of residence on election day, are 65 or older or are physically disabled to vote absentee in advance or by mail.

Anyone wanting to know more about voting in advance may call the clerk’s office. Absentee ballots remained sealed until polls close and then are reported in precinct totals.

Residents who have never voted in Vicksburg have until noon March 31 to register to vote in the primary elections or noon May 5 to vote in the general election. The City Clerk’s Office will be open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. all next week for voter registration.

In the race for mayor, candidates on Democratic primary ballots are Eric Rawlings, 38, and incumbent Robert Walker, 56.

The winner of that race will go on to face independent candidates Laurence Leyens, 36, Joe Loviza, 61, and Eva Marie Ford, 63, in the general election on June 5.

Walker, who filed suit over the arrangement of his name on ballots after the 1993 city elections the only city election of four he’s been in that he lost was not available to say if he had seen the ballots. The suit was never tried and was dropped.

The South Ward will have separate Republican and Democratic primaries.

Pam Johnson, 35, owner of a local hair salon, and Carl Marshall Upton, 41, a self-employed electrician, will face off for the Democratic nomination. Voters who chose that ballot may also cast a vote for Rawlings or Walker.

Sidney H. Beauman Jr., 52, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, and restaurant manager Sam Smith, 37; will vie as Republicans. Voters who chose that ballot will have no say in the mayoral primary.

Both South Ward primary winners will advance to the city’s general election and face independents Ashlea Mosley, 18, and Vickie Bailey, 33, assistant director of the city’s Department of Youth Services.

In the North Ward alderman’s race, two-term incumbent Gertrude Young, 45, is being challenged by business owner Rodney E. Dillamar, 41, and retired educator Jo Pratt, 67, in the Democratic primary.

The North Ward primary is the only contest where there’s a possible run-off. If no candidate gets more than half the votes, the top two will meet again May 15.

There is no Republican primary and the winner will advance to face Sylvester Walker, 40, in the general election.