Absentee voting deadline sees large turnout 

Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Tony Rook

Ryan Phillips
SDN Editor

After seeing more than half of registered voters in Oktibbeha County cast ballots on Nov. 6, election officials saw a comparable turnout when absentee voting for Tuesday’s runoff ended at noon on Saturday. 

Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Tony Rook said on Saturday afternoon that absentee ballots were cast faster than election officials could enter them into the system — with turnout made possible by multiple high profile races, including three chancery judge seats, U.S. House of Representatives and the special election for the unexpired term of retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran. 

“We expect to process approximately 800 absentee ballots by the end of the day Monday,” Rook said. 

In the Nov. 6 General Election, Oktibbeha saw 1,152 absentee ballots cast as 55 percent of the county’s 27,217 registered voters cast ballots. 

The increase was substantial from the midterm election four years ago, when county election officials tallied less than 300 absentee ballots. 

Election officials also reported in the last week that with many who voted on paper affidavit ballots, the poll books would now be updated to reflect their correct address — which is likely to drastically cut down the number of affidavit ballots cast on Tuesday. 

For all Oktibbeha County voters, the Nov. 27 ballot will see the runoff between Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy, while some in the county will also vote in the runoff for Chancery Court Judge District 14, Place 1, between Rodney Faver and Lee Ann Turner.