Affidavit ballot counting begins in Hattiesburg special election

The counting of affidavit ballots for the Hattiesburg Special election has begun.

The counting was delayed due to an apparent argument between election commissioner  Turner Jones and political analyst Pete Perry. Jones said, "Either he goes, or I go."

Jones then left the building for a brief amount of time, and returned. Pete Perry  left the building.

The Wesley affidavits are being counted.

The commissioners got a late start after lunch continuing with the Timberton affidavit ballots. Only one of those ballots were accepted, and 15 rejected. The commissioners moved on to the North Heights affidavits, and only two were accepted while four were rejected.

The poll worker for the Train Depot, as well a one representative from each campaign and an election commissioner are reviewing the Train Depot absentee ballots set aside from yesterday. This is the second of the five boxes set aside, only four will be reviewed today.

During the lunch break, commissioner Lillie Easton said she was not with the unsealed Rowan box when she returned from the precinct after 5 hours of waiting. Easton said the box was in another car with the poll manger and another worker. The box was accompanied with the key. No decisions have been made regarding the ballots in the Rowan box.

The election commissioners reviewed the first affidavit ballots at 9 a.m. from the Thames precinct. The totals were 14 affidavits, and 11 curbside ballots. Of those ballots, seven were accepted, seven rejected. According to the Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, the three ballots under review from the Thames precinct are now void because the voters addresses were in the Highland Park district.

As affidavit ballot counting continues throughout the day, the boxes set aside from absentee ballot counting will be taken to the city clerk's office to make sure the voters are registered. These boxes were set aside because of the ballots not being properly marked.

The precinct boxes set aside were Dixie Pines, Wesley, North Heights, 6th Street USO, and the Train Depot.

The Dixie Pines precinct box, the first of five to be set aside yesterday morning, was the first to be reviewed by the poll manager, an election commissioner and one representative from each campaign.  Just before lunch, the Dixie Pine poll worker announced she could not stay, and the commissioners put the review of those ballots on hold.