Mississippians will go to the polls Tuesday with an opportunity to vote in races on the county level such as for supervisor, and in races on the state level such as for governor and legislators.
The most high profile statewide race on the ballot Tuesday will be for the office of lieutenant governor. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann of Jackson is facing state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville in a contentious Republican primary. Hosemann and McDaniel for weeks have flooded mailboxes and statewide airwaves with bitter attacks about one another.
Lesser-known candidate Tiffany Longino of Rankin County is also on the ballot in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
The winner of that primary will in November face political novice D. Ryan Grover of Hattiesburg, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
Incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves, who is seeking reelection, faces two lesser known candidates on Tuesday in the Republican primary: John Witcher of Flowood and David Grady Hardigree of Jackson.
The winner of that GOP primary will face Brandon Presley of Nettleton, a four-term northern district public service commissioner who is unopposed in the Democratic primary for governor.
Three Democrats are on the ballot for the office of commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce to face incumbent Republican Andy Gipson. They are Robert “Brad” Bradford, Bethany Hill and Terry Rogers II.
Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is being challenged in the Republican primary by Mitch Young.
In the primary elections, a candidate must garner a majority vote to avoid a runoff three weeks after Tuesday. So, in any election with more than two candidates, a runoff is possible.
Voters will have to decide whether they want to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. They cannot cross over to vote. In the November general election, people can cross over and vote for a gubernatorial candidate of one party and a candidate for lieutenant of another party.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. People with election questions can call their local circuit clerks.
Based on early numbers, the turnout could be high. The number of absentee ballots requested and returned, meaning the person requesting the ballot has voted and the ballot has been returned to the local circuit clerks, already exceeds the numbers for the 2019 primaries. Political observers often equate higher early voting or absentee numbers to overall higher election turnout.
Through the weekend, 45,199 absentee ballots have been requested and 40,698 already have been returned to the local circuit clerks. This compared with the final numbers in the 2019 party primaries when 42,096 were requested and 38,237 were returned.
Absentee ballots must be postmarked as of Election Day to be counted.
An independent analysis of the absentee numbers compiled by the office of Secretary of State Michael Watson indicate high interest in the Republican primary. According to reports, there is high interest in a number of local races as well as the lieutenant governor’s contest between Hosemann and McDaniel.
According to those compilations, as of Monday, the return of absentee ballots in the Republican primary is 129% more than the total early voting count in 2019. And, of course, people still have time to return their absentee ballots, though it is too late to request an absentee ballot.