By NATHAN GREGORY
Oktibbeha County voters have until Saturday at noon to fill out absentee ballots for the March 13 presidential primary in person. Mailed absentee ballots must arrive at the circuit clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Monday to be counted.
The Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk’s office, located at 108 West Main St. in Starkville, will open at 8 a.m. tomorrow to accommodate last-minute absentee voters.
Congressional redistricting will affect which U.S. House of Representatives candidates a portion of Oktibbeha County residents will be voting for in the election. Areas of the county which previously fell under Miss. District 3 have been moved to Miss. District 1.
County Election Commission Chairman Myles Carpenter said areas that will be voting in District 1 include those in the Maben precinct; the portion of the Craig Springs/South Bradley Precinct, which was originally a part of the Old Bradley precinct; and the portion of the Center Grove/North Adaton precinct which was originally part of the old Center Grove precinct. The Bell Schoolhouse and Sturgis/North Bradley voting precincts were also transferred to the new voting district.
Registered Republicans in Miss. District 1 will choose between incumbent Alan Nunnelee, Robert Estes and Henry Ross, while GOP voters in Miss. District 3 will choose between incumbent Gregg Harper and Robert J. Allen. Republican voters from both districts will select between incumbent Roger Wicker, E. Allen Hathcock and Robert Maloney for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate.
On the Democratic side, Brad Morris is running unopposed in Miss. District 1 while Crystal C. Biggs is running unopposed in Miss. District 3. Democrats from both districts will choose between Albert N. Gore Jr., Will Oatis and Roger Weiner to run against the GOP’s U.S. Senate candidate.
County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton said he’s seen a consistent turnout in absentee voting.
“We’ve had a pretty steady flow of traffic this week with people who were voting absentee. I have been personally pleased with the number that’s been coming in,” Hamilton said. “We were there this past Saturday until noon, (and) we’re going to be there this Saturday.”
Hamilton said he’s been pleased with the process’ efficiency in the first election he has overseen as county circuit clerk.
“I’ve said all along that I’ve been blessed to have a knowledgeable staff at my office,” he said. “I’m very confident the election will go off without a glitch.”
Carpenter said whether by absentee or by voting Tuesday, all registered voters’ views need to be represented.
“We want to remind people to go out and vote,” Carpenter said. “They have a constitutional right to vote, and they ought to exercise it.”