By Caleb Bedillion
TUPELO – Saturday is the deadline to register as a voter in time to participate in Mississippi’s federal primaries on March 8.
Only two races will be on the ballot in Lee County: primary races for president and Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District.
To cast a ballot in the primary, residents who are not yet registered to vote in Lee County must do so this week.
The Lee County Circuit Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon to accommodate new voter registrations, said Circuit Clerk Camille Roberts.
Roberts added that residents registering to vote by mail must have their applications postmarked no later than Saturday.
Sample primary ballots should arrive at the circuit clerk’s office on Friday, Roberts said. With only two races on each party’s ballot, preparation of the ballot was quite straightforward, she said.
On the presidential side, 13 Republican candidates will appear on the ballot, including several who have since dropped their bids. The candidates are: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John R. Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald J. Trump.
On the Democratic ballot for president, Hillary Clinton, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are competing against each other.
In the 1st Congressional race, Rep. Trent Kelly, who won a special election in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of the late Alan Nunnelee, is back on the ballot less than a year later. In the Republican primary, he faces opposition from Paul Clever.
On the Democratic ballot, Jacob Owens is running unopposed and will face the winner of the Republican primary in the November general election.