TUPELO • Absentee voting should begin this week for municipal runoff elections scheduled to occur in less than two weeks.
Primary runoffs in Tupelo will occur in Wards 1, 6 and 7 on April 27. Ballots should be available beginning on Wednesday under current plans, according to City Clerk Kim Hanna.
Absentee voting will continue in-person through April 24. That is the Saturday before the election day.
Absentee ballots can be cast in person at the municipal clerk’s office at City Hall, or requested and then returned by mail, if qualified to do so.
Absentee voting requires excuse
Mississippi has no provisions for early voting, and only qualifying voters may cast absentee ballots in advance of election day.
Some of the more common qualifying excuses are the following:
• Away from county of residence of residence on election day for any reason.
• Age 65 or older.
• Required to work on election throughout the time in which polls are open.
• Temporary or permanent disability
• The spouse or caretaker of some who is disabled and hospitalized outside county of residence or more than 50 miles from residence.
Municipal clerks must be open for absentee voting on April 17 and April 24, from 8 a.m. until noon.
Absentee ballots returned by mail are valid as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received within five business days of the April 27 runoff – which will be on May 4.
Tupelo runoff races in three wards
Runoff matchups are as follows:
• Ward 1, Republican primary: Amanda Angle and Chad Mims
• Ward 6, Republican primary: Mike Bryan and Janet Gaston
• Ward 7, Republican primary: Willie Jennings and Rosie Jones
Angle, 45, is an accountant, and Mims, 43, is a pharmaceutical sales representative. The GOP nominee in Ward 1 will go on to face Democrat Geraldine Brinkley in the June 8 general election.
Bryan, 57, is completing his fourth term of office and owns an insurance firm. Gaston, 65, recently retired from a management position at BancorpSouth.The winner of the GOP runoff in Ward 6 will run against Democratic nominee Rasheeda Iyanda in the general election.
Jennings, 69, is an incumbent and a rental property owner. The 48-year old Jones works in healthcare as a medical technician. There is not Republican candidate, so the winner of the Democratic primary in Ward 7 will go on to capture the seat.
The general election is June 8.