Election commission still working to certify results of primary election
NATCHEZ — Adams County Election Commission members are still working to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary elections.
On Thursday afternoon, however, commission members filed some updated numbers with the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s Office, said Larry Gardner Commission member.
“We ran a number of absentee ballots yesterday that the scanner would take and updated the files for those,” Gardner said Friday morning, “but the Democratic Party resolution board is here going through all of them that the scanner could not count.”
Party primaries are conducted by members of the Democratic and Republican parties in conjunction with the election commission.
Gardner said the Democratic Party resolution board members were hand counting approximately 200 ballots and commission members were counting affidavit ballots.
“We are moving along,” Gardner said.
Members of the Adams County Democratic Party resolution board, Jackie Marsaw, Tom McNeely and Wilber Johnson Sr., sat at a table outside of the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s office on Friday hand counting the absentee ballots that Gardner said could not be scanned by the system.
“The Republican resolution board has done theirs, but I haven’t added the other ballots into the system yet,” Gardner said. “I want to add both parties at the same time.”
Gardner has said the county’s election machines are outdated and need to be updated. They require data cards from all of the 19 individual voting precincts to be inserted into a computer and downloaded before the numbers can be totaled by the computer, Gardner said.
With Republican and Democrat primaries last Tuesday that amounts to several data cards for both parties from each of the 19 precincts, and Gardner said he does not anticipate the votes to be certified until Monday.
“They have to be run — the hand-counted votes — through the scanner, too,” Gardner said, “and then if they don’t go through the scanner, we have to hand tally and then that has got to be added to the server so it is a long process. It is a tedious process.”
In the meantime several elections were close calls, including the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s race between Democrats Eva Givens and “Lady J” M. Johnson, the Adams County Attorneys race between Lisa Chandler and Carmen Brooks Drake, the District 5 Adams County Supervisor race between incumbent Calvin Butler and Warren Gaines Sr. and the Northern District Adams County Justice Court Judge race between Patricia F. Dunmore and Audrey B. Minor.
In the race for District 1 Adams County Supervisor, the margin is close but if the trend holds up it appears Democratic challenger Wes Middleton could claim a victory over incumbent Democrat Mike Lazarus. No independent or Republican candidates are vying for that position.
Middleton said he has been keeping up with the certification process and with Thursday’s updated numbers Lazarus appears to have gained two votes going from 62 votes separating them to 60 votes separating them.
“I think the votes will trend like they did in the primary and essentially stay the same,” Middleton said. “I wish I had a little more cushion but we will wait and see.”
Lazarus said he has not been paying much attention to the vote count and certification process.
“I know from experience usually the absentee votes mirror whatever the election results were,” Lazarus said. “Sixty votes would be a whole lot to overcome, so I’m good, whatever. I just want what is best for Adams County.”
Below is a breakdown of the latest updated but unofficial, uncertified numbers from Tuesday’s primaries in Adams County’s contested races:
Daye Dearing: 2,325, 28.6%
Eva “E.J.” Givens: 2,708, 33.37%
“Lady J” M. Johnson: 2,683, 33%
Jason Wisner: 400, 4.9%
Johnathan T. Hargrave: 1,688, 21.2%
James Lee: 6,262, 78.7%
Jerry Ford: 853, 10.3%
Tom Grennell: 1,028, 12.5%
Travis Patten: 6,334, 77%
Michael “Good News” Hughes: 4,322, 56.8%
Michael Pace: 3,273, 43%
R. Daniel Patterson: 4,129, 53%
Samuel “Sambo” Thomas: 1,354, 17.4%
T. Henry Watts: 2,287, 29.4%
Supervisor District 1
Mike Lazarus: 856, 48.2%
John “Wes” Middleton: 916, 51.6%
Supervisor District 3
A. Gibson Hutchins: 1,132, 84%
E. Ann (Ford) Jones: 212, 15.7%
Supervisor District 4
Rita Bernard Brooks: 286
James “Ricky” Gray 1,365
Supervisor District 5
James H. Berry Jr.: 453, 24.5%
Calvin Butler 564, 30%
Warren Gaines Sr. 584, 31.6%
Kelly Thompson 239, 12.9%
Justice Court Judge Northern District
Patricia F. Dunmore 1,429, 34.8%
Eddie Jones 708, 17.24%
Audry B. Minor 1,966, 48%
Justice Court Judge Southern District
Lee Ford 1,656, 43.4%
Eileen Mary Maher 2,151, 56.3%
Constable Northern District
Deselle “Mody” Davis 1,741, 43%
Willie B. Jones 1,922, 47%
Diania M. Walker 375, 9.3%
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