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By BRIAN HAWKINS
Absentee voting for a Jan. 11 special election for the Northern District seat on the Mississippi Transportation Commission has begun, Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis announced late last week.
The special election is being held to find fill the unexpired term of Bill Minor, who passed away a few weeks ago.
Seven candidates have qualified to seek the position. They are listed as follows:
â€˘ John M.M. Caldwell Sr.
â€˘ Dennis C. Grisham.
â€˘ Joey Hood.
â€˘ Larry Lee.
â€˘ Warner McBride.
â€˘ Ray Minor.
â€˘ Mike Tagert.
All seven candidates are on ballots for all of Oktibbeha Countyâ€™s 21 voting precincts. In addition to Oktibbeha County, voters in 30 other north Mississippi counties will vote in the race.
If no one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast on Jan. 11, a runoff will be held on Feb. 1. The top two vote-getters on Jan. 11 will advance to the runoff.
All voters will be able to go to the polls if they are registered at least 30 days before the election, McGinnis said.
â€śThis election does include the entire county,â€ť said McGinnis on Wednesday.
Beginning Tuesday, absentee ballots for the special election may be cast at the Circuit Clerkâ€™s Office in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Annex on West Main Street weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Circuit Clerkâ€™s Office will not be open Monday due to the extended Christmas holiday weekend.
The Circuit Clerkâ€™s Office will also be open Jan. 1 and Jan. 8 from 8 a.m. to noon to allow voters an additional opportunity to cast an absentee ballot.
In order to vote absentee, residents must meet one of the following conditions as set forth in state law:
â€˘ The voter is an enlisted or commissioned member of any component of the U.S. Armed Forces and a citizen of Mississippi, or spouse of dependent of a such a member.
â€˘Â The voter is a member of the Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross and is a citizen of Mississippi, or spouse of dependent of a such a member.
â€˘ The voter is a disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital or is a citizen of Mississippi, or spouse of dependent of a such a member.
â€˘ The voter is a civilian attached to and serving outside the U.S. with any branch of the armed forces, Merchant Marine or Red Cross, and is a citizen of Mississippi, or spouse of dependent of a such a member.
â€˘ The voter is a citizen of Mississippi temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States and District of Columbia.
â€˘ The voter is a citizen of Mississippi enrolled as a student at a U.S. Military Academy.
â€˘ The voter is a student, teacher or administrator and a college, university, junior college, high school, junior high school or elementary school whose studies or employment necessitate the absence from the county of his or her voting residency.
â€˘ The voter will be outside the county on election day.
â€˘ The voter is age 65 and older.
â€˘ The voter is the parent, spouse or dependent on someone with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside his county of residence more than 50 miles away and will be with that person on election day.
â€˘ The voter is a member of the congressional delegation or spouse or dependent of a member of the congressional delegation.
â€˘ The voter is required to be at work on election day during the times the polls will be open.
For more information on the Jan. 11 special election, call the Circuit Clerkâ€™s Office at 323-1356.