Two weeks remain for voters to cast their absentee ballots in a highly-contested justice court judge race for the Western District and leading up to the November General Election.
Since absentee voting began on Sept. 20, the Grenada County Circuit Clerk’s Office has received approximately 160 ballots in the race.
According to the circuit clerk’s office, more than 200 ballots have been requested.
With two weeks remaining until the election, voters with disabilities are being assisted at the county courthouse.
Five candidates appear on the ballot and they include, Rusty Harlow, Bart Haltom, Jeremy Lucius, Tangala Hollis Palmer and Vincent Marascalco.
Throughout the county, political signs from the candidates appear as a reminder for the Nov. 2 election that will put the next person in one of two justice court judge seats that was held by the late Jimmy Tallant for nearly 30 years.
Tallant died in January at 78 years old and served in the judge’s seat for seven terms. The Grenada County Board of Supervisors appointed Adam Kirk to fill the seat until the special election earlier this year. Kirk chose not seek the position.
According to Michele Redditt-Garcia, the judge’s race will be the only item on this year’s ballot.
Only 7,826 of the county’s 15,543 active voters will participate in the election - about half of the voters. That number consists of voters in the Western District that will cast their ballots. According to the circuit clerk’s office, 10 voting precincts will have polling places for the race.
Below is the list of the polling places and the number of voters in this election:
• Southside Church of Christ (2,062)
• Elliot Volunteer Fire Department (645)
• Holcomb-Sweethome No. 2 Fire Station (341)
• Grenada County Office Building (568)
• Futheyville First Pentecostal Church (135)
• City Auditorium (529)
• Taylor Hall (98)
• Geeslin Friendship Baptist Church (918)
• Holcomb Community Center (1,000)
• Grenada EOC Building (1,530)
According to the Secretary of State’s Office to qualify for a justice court judge, an individual must be a qualified elector, at least 21 years of age. Additionally, they must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Justice courts have jurisdiction over small claims civil cases involving amounts of $3,500 or less, misdemeanor criminal cases and any traffic offenses that occur outside a municipality. Justice Court judges may conduct bond hearings and preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases and may issue search warrants.
Justice Court judges are the only Mississippi judges elected to four-year terms. In Grenada County, the justice court judge salary is $1,730 per pay period or twice monthly for a total salary of $41,520.