Sheriff’s Election: A Look At The Details
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WATER VALLEY – Voters will return to the polls in less than a month to elect a sheriff in Yalobusha County in a special election that was ordered in circuit court a year ago and affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court last November following a lengthy court battle that spanned much of 2020. The Feb. 23 election is only in two of the county’s 12 precincts with two candidates on the ballot, Luther G. Folson, Jr. and Mark D. Fulco.
Yalobusha County Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney reported he has been in constant contact with officials at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office in the months leading up to the election.
“They haven’t seen many elections like this,” Burney explained about the special election that includes the vote count from the Nov. 5, 2019, General Election in 10 precincts that will be added to the new vote count in the two precincts.
A specially appointed judge ordered the new election following a hearing last January that hinged on four absentee ballots that were deemed invalid. Two of the ballots were in the Beat One North precinct and two were in the Beat Four Oakland precinct. The ballots in each precinct were commingled with other ballots, making it impossible to determine which candidate received the votes. All 1,419 ballots cast in the two precincts were invalidated as the judge ordered the new election in the precincts.
Here are a details about the special election:
1) Only voters in two of the county’s 12 precincts – Beat One North and Beat Four Oakland – are eligible to vote in this election.
2) The results from the two precincts will be added to the certified vote count from the Nov. 5, 2019, election in the other 10 precincts. This means that Fulco has 1,878 votes and Folson has 1,839 votes that will be added to the new votes cast in the Feb. 23 special election.
3) If you are a registered voter in the Beat One North Precinct or the Beat Four Oakland precinct, you can vote in the special election even if you did not vote in the first election for sheriff on Nov. 5, 2019.
4) New voters who moved into the two precincts will be allowed to vote in the special election, according to the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling.
5) However voters who have already cast a vote in one of the 10 precincts in the Nov. 5, 2019 election cannot move into the Beat One North Precinct or Beat Four Oakland precinct and vote in the special election. This would be voting twice in the same election, which is a felony in Mississippi.
6) The winner of the election will serve the remainder of the four-year term, which runs from 2020 thru the end of 2023.