Can I vote? Most likely you can and should. It's a race that may well decide who'll be serving as BSL mayor for the next four years.
- by Ellis Anderson
Harding didn’t participate in the new online forum – ServeBSL.com – and did not appear at any of the three live political forums held in April. This leaves many residents believing that the winner of the upcoming runoff will be the next Bay St. Louis mayor.
Two Democratic candidates for Councilman At-Large - Mike Weems and TJ Collier - will also be on the runoff ballot May 16th.
However confusion reigns among local voters because of the complicated Mississippi municipal election system. Many think they won’t be eligible to vote in the runoff because they are Republicans or Independents, or because they didn’t vote in the primary election.
These three FAQs should help demystify the runoff:
1. I didn't vote in the May 2nd primary. Can I vote in the runoff?
Yes! As long as you were registered to vote in time for the May 2nd primary (April 1st, 2017).
2. I consider myself a Republican (or Independent). Can I vote in the May 16th Democratic Primary Runoff?
Most likely. Almost everybody in the city can vote in the runoff. The only exception is if you live in Ward 4, and voted for either Republican Larry Smith or Kyle Lewis in the May 2nd primary (Ward 4 had the only Republican Primary in the city). Those 131 people can’t switch and vote in the Democratic runoffs now. Of course, they can vote in the June 6th election.
3. If I consider myself a Republican (or Independent) and vote in the Democratic runoff, does that mean I'm officially changing my party affiliation? Absolutely not. The state of Mississippi doesn't require voters to pick a party when they register. So you can vote in either a Republican or Democratic primary election (and its runoff).
And come time for the June 6th general election, we can all go back to voting for whoever we think is the best person for the job, regardless of the party they belong to!
3. Will I need an ID? You’ll be required to show a photo ID. Click here to read what’s acceptable. Need to know time and locations to vote? Click here.
We encourage you to compare answers, not ads, on our nonpartisan ServeBSL website before voting.
Click here to read how Mike Farve and Les Fillingame answered a set of challenging questions and click here to see what Mike Weems and TJ Collier had to say!