Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Today is the primary election for Jacksonians to determine who will be the next mayor and council members of the city—or at least decide the top two candidates in each race to head to a run-off election in two weeks. So far, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says turnout is low.
"Your vote will be worth possibly as many as three or four of your neighbors," Hosemann told reporters at the Capitol this morning.
Absentee ballots usually account for about 5 percent of the total vote, and if that's the case in Jackson, that means between 10,000 and 20,000 Jacksonians will vote in the primary election today.
"It will be a very small margin, I doubt very seriously with that number of voters that someone will get 50 percent plus one—they will have a run-off," Hosemann said, adding that it would "a miracle."
He said that in tight elections, like the Democratic primary in Jackson, the leader will likely have a significant margin of votes, while the second- and third-place candidates will be very tight. Hosemann said it is common to have five to 10 votes determine a mayoral race, or in the likely case for Jackson, who goes to the run-off.
A poll on Friday showed Attorney Chokwe Lumumba out ahead of the pack with 29 percent, with Supervisor Robert Graham and Sen. John Horhn battling for the second-place spot with 20 and 19 percent, respectively.
Voters who do not vote in the primary election today will be able to cast their votes in the run-off election, but those who vote in one party's primary today cannot switch to the other party's run-off. The deadline to register to vote in the general election in June is Saturday, May 6.
Hosemann reminded voters to check where they are supposed to vote because municipal elections do not necessarily use the same precincts as county elections. Visit the secretary of state's website or Jackson's municipal election website to find the precinct where you should vote.
Voters need a voter ID in order to cast a ballot. Those campaigning must remain 150 feet away from precincts. Voters will be able to cast ballots as long as they are standing in line at their precinct by 7 p.m.
If you or someone you know has trouble at the polls, call the Jackson city clerk at 601-960-1033 or the secretary of state's voter hotline at 1-800-829-6786. The League of Women Voters in Jackson is also operating an Election Day hotline at 601-355-7495.
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