Voters in Aberdeen, Amory and Nettleton will help shape the next few years in local politics beginning April 6. For Amory and Nettleton, the date is for Democratic and Republican party primaries while in Aberdeen, it’s for the runoff for the special-called mayor’s race.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the cities for registered voters to participate. People must vote in their registered wards.
While Aberdeen’s special election will determine who serves as mayor until the 2024 elections, all of Monroe County’s other municipalities’ next election cycle after this year's elections is in 2025.
For Amory, there will be contested races next week for Ward 1 and Ward 2 alderman seats. Ward 1 is a Republican primary, and Ward 2 is a Democratic primary.
Amory City Clerk Jamie Morgan said voters who live in Ward 2 and want to vote for their candidate will have to vote Democratic in next week’s primary since only Democrats are running. Those living in Ward 1 will have to vote Republican since only Republicans are running.
“The Mississippi Statewide Elections Management System does not define or hold someone at his or her choice of party in the system. If that voter absolutely refuses to vote Democrat or Republic (a different party than the part of that person’s choice), that is completely up to that person. That voter will not, however, due to lack of interest from the party candidates for that person’s party have an option in the primary,” she said.
If needed, the runoff date is April 27 for April 6’s primaries for Amory and Nettleton.
Absentee votes will be counted by the resolution boards at each City Hall rather than at the precincts. Morgan noted absentee ballots counted at Amory City Hall will be done by hand and can’t be counted until 7 p.m.
With Nettleton, all candidates run Democrat, so the two-candidate mayor, police chief and Ward 1 alderman seats will be determined next week. The Ward 3 alderman and alderman-at-large seats each have three candidates running, meaning there is a possibility for an April 27 runoff.
Uncontested Nettleton races include Ward 2 and Ward 4 aldermen seats. Uncontested Amory races are police chief and alderman-at-large.
The mayor’s races in Amory and Smithville will be decided June 8 as candidates for those two seats are all running as Independents.
All candidates in Hatley and Smithville run as Independents, meaning they won’t appear on the ballot until June. Gattman’s current administration, comprised of Independents also, will roll over for another term.
For the June general election, Hatley has one contested race – the Ward 4 alderman seat.
Aberdeen City Clerk Melissa Moore said there will be an L&A testing (Miss Code Ann. 23-15-531.6) April 1 at 10 a.m. at City Hall to check voting machines.
“It’s open to the public if they want to see them so that there will be no discretion come Election Day like them saying that the machines weren’t working. They will have a chance to come and observe the technician operating all of the machines to make sure they’ll be properly working come April 6,” she said.
To participate in 2021’s primaries and general elections, a person must be an active registered voter in his or her respective ward and municipality. Only those registered to vote in a certain ward can vote in that ward.
People who are not registered to vote must do so at their respective City Hall 30 days before the primaries’ and elections’ dates to be eligible to participate.
Additionally, people must show an acceptable form of voter ID.
Absentee applications are available 60 days before the election, and ballots are available 45 days before the election.
Those eligible for absentee voting include voters who will be outside of their municipalities on election days; voters required to be at work while polls are open; those who are temporarily or permanently physically disable; voters 65 and older; parents, spouses and dependants of people with a temporary or permanent disability who are hospitalized more than 50 miles away from their municipalities on election days; students, teachers and administrators who will be away from their county of voting residence on election days; voters temporarily residing outside of the United States; members of the U.S. Armed Forced and their spouses and dependents; members of the Merchant Marines or American Red Cross and their spouses and dependents; disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital and their spouses and dependents; civilians attached to any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and dependents; members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation; and any trained/certified emergency responder deployed on election days for a state of emergency declared by the president or governor.
Those eligible to vote absentee by mail include voters who are temporarily residing outside of their municipality, those who are temporarily or permanently physically disabled and parents, spouses and dependants of people with a temporary or permanent disability who are hospitalized more than 50 miles away from their municipalities on election days.
“All mailed out absentee ballots cannot be mailed or hand delivered to the City Hall. They must go to your local postal office and date stamped. The postal service will deliver the absentee ballots to the City Hall or the city clerk can pick them up at the post office,” Moore said.
For more information, call the Aberdeen City Clerk’s office at 369-8588, the Amory City Clerk’s office at 256-5721 option 8 or the Nettleton City Clerk’s office at 963-2605.