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By BRIAN HAWKINS
Absentee voting for the Feb. 1 runoff for Northern District transportation commission remains on hold until state officials finish certifying the results of the Jan. 11 special election, Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis says.
The special election saw a field of seven candidates vying to fill the vacancy left by the Nov. 1 death of Commissioner Bill Minor of Holly Springs. The three-member Mississippi Transportation Commission oversees one of the largest agencies in state government, with responsibility over highways, bridges, ports and airports.
The results of the special election saw John M.M. Caldwell Sr. of Nesbit, transportation director for the DeSoto County School District, and Mike Tagert of Starkville, president of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council, advance to the Feb. 1 runoff.
But since the results of the special election in 32 other counties must be certified through the Statewide Election Management System, individual counties must wait to proceed with absentee voting for the runoff, McGinnis said.
Word is expected about the certification results from the Secretary of State‚Äôs Office in the next few days,‚ÄĚ McGinnis said.
‚ÄúWe have to wait to get the go-ahead from the state to ensure the ballot matches,‚ÄĚ McGinnis said. ‚ÄúIf it were just us, I would move ahead. I feel like we‚Äôll have one by the end of the week.‚ÄĚ
That will be critical, since state law requires that the Circuit Clerk‚Äôs Office be open on Saturdays preceding an election from 8 a.m. to noon to allow extra opportunities for absentee voting.
‚ÄúAs far as I know, we‚Äôll be here this weekend, even if we have to make our own ballot. Hopefully, we‚Äôll have the official one by then,‚ÄĚ McGinnis said.
For more information about the runoff and absentee voting, call the Circuit Clerk‚Äôs Office at 323-1356 or stop by the Courthouse Annex.