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Less than 20 votes separate judicial candidates on Coast

gavel_rgbPASCAGOULA — With 18 affidavit votes still uncounted, Chancery Court Judge Neil Harris is 18 votes ahead of challenger Paula Yancey for a seat covering Jackson, George and Greene counties.

Affidavit votes are cast by people who go to the wrong polling place — something that can happen if someone moves and doesn’t update registration.

The uncounted affidavit votes were cast by people who also didn’t have any identification. It took two days to count the 547 affidavit ballots cast in Jackson County, where 14 of those without ID live. The other four were in Greene County.

“It’s sad they’ve gone all the way to the poll and voted, but did not bring their ID with them,” said Jackson County Chancery Court Clerk Joe Martin. He said one was waiting for his driver’s license and another couldn’t find his wallet.

Martin said his office has tried to call all 14 in Jackon County, but one listed phone number went to a fax.

Some of the others have said they won’t come to the courthouse, he told The Sun Herald.

Without those 18 votes, the count is 17,837 for Harris, 17,819 for Yancey.

Those people now have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to go to their county courthouse and show identification. If all 18 showed up with IDs and all 18 voted for Yancey, it would tie the election.

The final tally will be Thursday morning.



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