Adams County election workers still processing affidavit ballots Thursday

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, November 5, 2020

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NATCHEZ — On Thursday morning, Adams County election officials were processing Adams County affidavit ballots in Tuesday’s U.S. Presidential Election.

“We are just starting to process affidavits and we will be doing that for at least a couple more days,” said Adams County Election Commissioner Larry Gardner.

On election night, the election commission had counted 12,323 of the votes. At the end of the day Wednesday, they had counted an additional 1,390 votes and began validating more than 200 affidavit ballots.

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In the latest results for Adams County with Wednesday afternoon’s update after officials counted the 1,390 absentee ballots, 57.54% voted for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice president candidate Kamala Harris with a total of 7,842 votes while 41.32% voted to reelect Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence with 5,632 votes.

In the U.S. Senate race, 59.5% of Adams County voters had voted for Democratic challenger Mike Espy with 8,101 votes and 39.39% voted to reelect Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith with 5,363 votes. A little more than 1% voted for Libertarian candidate Jimmy L. Edwards with 149 votes.

Statewide, however, Hyde-Smith handily won reelection.

In the U.S. House of Representatives race, 54.61% voted for Democratic challenger Dorothy Benford with 6,919 votes and 45.29% voted to reelect Republican Michael Guest.

Statewide, however, Guest prevailed to win another term.

More than 76.6% of Adams County voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana and over 22.3% voted against both Initiative 65 and the alternative Initiative 65A to legalize medical marijuana.

More than 77.6% voted for Initiative 65 and over 22.3% coted for alternative Initiative 65A.

Measure 65 passed statewide as well.

In a “yes” or “no” vote on House Concurrent Resolution No. 47, which supports the removal of the electoral vote requirement in statewide elections, 83.72% of Adams County voted yes with 10,303 votes and 16.28% voted no with 2003 votes.

In a “yes” or “no” vote on the new Mississippi flag, 78.37% of Adams County voted “yes” with 10,357 votes and 21.63% voted “no” with 2,859 votes.

That measure passed statewide as well.

On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, election workers opened each mail-in ballot in the Adams County Courthouse and checked that they were correctly signed and notarized before they were machine counted.

Gardner said final results could not be certified at least until Wednesday, Nov. 11, when five business days after the election have passed allowing all of the absentee ballots to arrive in the mail.

“That puts them coming in by 5 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 10) which means we would certify them by Wednesday (Nov. 11),” Gardner said.

At least one absentee ballot is being held for signature verification, Gardner said, adding the voter has up to 10 days after the election to respond and re-sign to verify their signature.

“If that voter doesn’t respond, then we can certify the election on the 10th day after the election,” Gardner said. “Everything is going pretty smoothly, it is just tedious and it just takes time. You don’t want to miss something and you don’t want to disenfranchise someone if you can help it. We’re doing due diligence, especially on these affidavits, to make sure that we’ve got the information.”