Cross voting barred in runoff
by Paisley Boston
Jun 10, 2014 | 2784 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The runoff election for the 2014 primaries is June 24 and according to Bolivar County Circuit Clerk Marilyn Kelly voters are not allowed to switch political parties.

"Mississippi has what is called a closed primary and this is basically when you declare your party in a primary, you remain in that party until all primaries are over," said Kelly.

"There are two sets of poll books at the polls which are for democrats and republicans. However you declare during primaries, your name will be listed in that poll book and in the runoff election, we are using that same poll book," she added

According to the Secretary of State's Office, party candidates are nominated through primary elections.

A voter may vote in either party’s primary, and cast a ballot for that party’s nominees to the general election.

If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in a primary, a run-off is held between the top two vote getters.

A voter who votes in the primary of one party may not "crossover" to vote in the run-off of another party.

By law, primary elections are run by each political party’s county or municipal executive committee with oversight from the state party executive committees. circuit and municipal clerks also provide support.

"For example, when you go to the runoff for the primaries and your name is signed in the democratic poll book and you go to the republican table, poll workers are going to check both books for your name to see where you signed the first time," said Kelly.

"It would be very confusing if we did not utilize the same voter listing because individuals have to declare in the first election as to what book they want to sign or which primary they desire to vote in," she continued.

Kelly said in most state races, this is not an issue and in countywide elections most of the individuals that run are democrats but in state races, most of the parties are republican.

"This will also happen next year, as far as the primaries – we will have primaries next year as well. I have been getting a little more buzz this year from individuals regarding how they should vote in the runoff," said Kelly.

For the Democratic Party, incumbent Travis W. Chiders had 895; William Bond Compton, 199; Bill Marcy, 234 and Jonathan Rawl, 50.

For the second Congressional Democratic District, Damien Fairconetue received 38 votes in Bolivar County and incumbent Bennie G. Thompson received a total of 1,818.

These results included the absentee and affidavit ballots.