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What you need to know ahead of election day

(Source: WDAM)
Updated: Nov. 5, 2018 at 10:23 AM CST
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PINE BELT (WDAM) - Tuesday is election day, and WDAM 7 will have it all covered for you.

First, we’ve got some background on the top races and some answers to your frequently asked questions about this final round of Decision 2018.

Mississippi voters will decide two races for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Republican Roger Wicker is finishing up a six-year term and he’s running for re-election. On the ballot he faces Democratic nominee David Baria, along with a couple of third-party candidates. The one with the most votes will serve in the Senate for the next six years.

The other Senate race is a special election. Thad Cochran, a Republican, stepped aside for health reasons before his term expired. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed a fellow Republican, Cindy Hyde-Smith, to fill the job temporarily. Now, voters will decide if she or someone else will serve the two years remaining in Cochran’s term.

On the ballot, she’s facing Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bartee. Since this is a special election, you won’t find party labels on the ballot, just the names of the four candidates. If nobody wins a majority on Tuesday, the top two finishers will head to a runoff three weeks later. Polls indicate a runoff is very likely.

This special election has drawn national attention, including a New York Times story last week. Democrats see the race as their best chance to win a U.S. Senate seat in Mississippi—something they haven’t been able to do since John Stennis retired three decades ago.

They’re hoping to repeat what happened in Alabama a year ago next month, when Democrat Doug Jones narrowly won a special election for U.S. Senate in that deep-red state. But his Republican opponent Roy Moore had been badly damaged by allegations of sexual misconduct. There’s been no such scandal in the Mississippi election.

Voters in each of Mississippi’s four U.S. House districts will elect a Congressman to represent them for the next two years. South Mississippi has two of these races: House District 4, where incumbent Republican Steven Palazzo is challenged by Democratic nominee Jeramey Anderson and a third-party candidate; and House District 3, where Republican nominee Michael Guest faces Democratic nominee Michael Evans. This House race is unusual because there’s no incumbent on the ballot. Republican Gregg Harper is retiring after a decade, so the job is open.

You can go to the polls Tuesday anytime from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening.

Depending on your location, your ballot may also list races for chancery or circuit judge. Runoffs in those nonpartisan races, if needed, will be held November 27.

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