Brown certified as new Adams County court judge

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NATCHEZ — After counting the absentee ballots in last week’s election for County Court judge, the winner Walt Brown’s 14-point lead grew by nearly another percentage point.

With all but four votes counted, Brown held 57.6 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner said the 448 absentee ballots in the election had been counted, and the approximately 50 affidavit ballots cast on Election Day had been reviewed.

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Approximately half of the affidavit ballots were disallowed because the people who cast them weren’t registered to vote in Adams County, Gardner said.

“Some of them were registered to vote in Louisiana, but they will be getting letters in the mail telling them that if they want to vote here they will have to register here,” Gardner said. “This happens every election, and when you live in a river city, you can go two blocks and you’re in another state, so we have still got people who think they can live here and register in another state.”

Six absentee ballots weren’t counted because they weren’t properly signed or the voter placed their absentee application in the envelope with the ballot, Gardner said.

The four ballots waiting to be counted are affidavit ballots that were cast without proper ID, he said.

The Mississippi voter ID law that went into effect this year allows voters to cast an affidavit ballot as long as they show proper ID at the circuit clerk’s office within a week of the election.

Gardner said the election commission checked with the secretary of state’s office to make sure they had to wait until Friday before the ballots are disallowed because the Thanksgiving holiday meant the circuit clerk’s office was not open Thursday or Friday.

Circuit Clerk Eddie Walker is working to contact the four remaining voters to see if they want to present IDs and have their votes counted, Gardner said.

Walker could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.