Lafayette County ready for Mississippi’s presidential primary

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 6, 2020

Super Tuesday has come and gone, and next week is Mississippi’s turn in the spotlight for the 2020 race to the White House.

March 10 is the next round of presidential primaries, with Mississippi joining five other states, including Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington. According to Circuit Clerk Jeff Busby, Lafayette County is prepared for Tuesday’s elections.

Despite voting to look into shifting the county to a paper ballot system, Lafayette County Supervisors have not yet purchased, or decided on, the materials and machines required for the paper ballot system.

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“That change will probably come sometime next year,” Busby said regarding paper ballots.

The same machines used for last year’s elections will be used on Tuesday, and Busby said all machines are working and his office is not expecting any issues. During the state primary last August, a couple polling machines were not allowing people to vote for Bill Waller, Jr. and instead counting the vote for Tate Reeves.

Saturday at noon is the deadline to cast an absentee ballot in Lafayette County ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Despite a number of Democratic presidential candidates suspending their campaigns this week following Super Tuesday, their names will remain on Tuesday’s ballot, since they were also printed on the absentee ballots.

Both Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders were scheduled to make last-minute stops in Mississippi this weekend. Sanders was set to hold an event at the Mississippi Civil Rights museum in Jackson on Friday but changed his plans late Thursday to go to Michigan instead. Biden is still planning to make a stop in Jackson on Sunday.

President Donald Trump will have two opponents on Mississippi’s Republican ballot. Businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuenta from San Diego, Calif. and Bill Weld, an attorney and businessman out of New York, are running against Trump in Mississippi.

Also on the ballot are two races for U.S. Congress seats. Republican U.S. Senator Cindy-Hyde Smith is seeking re-election. Smith is running unopposed in her primary on Tuesday, but Mike Espy is running against Tobey Bernard Bartee and Jensen Bohren in the Democratic primary.

Ole Miss Law professor and Democratic Socialist Antonia Eliason is running for the District 1 Representative seat and challenging incumbent Trent Kelly. Both are unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.