By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – The Yalobusha County Circuit Clerk’s offices will be open on New Year’s day until noon to allow absentee voting for the Jan. 11 special election for the Northern District Transportation Commissioner.
State law requires county courthouses to be open the two Saturdays prior to an election for voters to cast an absentee ballot. The circuit clerk’s offices at the Water Valley and Coffeeville courthouses will also be open on Jan. 8 until noon.
The special election follows the Nov. 1 death of Bill Minor, who was serving his second term as transportation commissioner. Seven candidates have qualified in the 33-county district. The candidates are:
• Warner McBride, Batesville
• John Caldwell Sr., Nesbit
• Dennis Grisham, Dumas
• Joey Hood, Marietta
• Larry Lee, Grenada
• Ray Minor, Holly Springs
• Mike Tagert, Starkville
Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney reported that absentee ballots for the election are available now at both courthouses. Absentee voting is available for students, active duty military, the elderly, disabled and for anyone who knows that he or she will be away from the county on election day.
Burney added that Jan. 1 is also the first day for candidates to qualify for elective offices in 2011, which include all county positions. Although New Year’s Day is a state holiday, candidates can qualify until noon. The deadline to qualify to run for county offices continues through March 1.