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The qualifying deadline for the November special election for State Senate District 32 was Sept. 3, and eight candidates have signed up to appear on the ballot.

Voters in the district, which includes part of Lauderdale County and Meridian, will elect someone to replace Sen. Sampson Jackson II (D-Preston). Jackson was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and announced in July he would be retiring after almost 30 years of service.

Candidates qualifying for the Senate District 32 special election include:

•W.J. Coleman, a former councelor at Parchman who lives in Louisville.

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•Stan Copeland, a member of the Northwest Water Association Board of Directors who lives in Preston.

•James Creer, a member of the Kemper County Board of Education.

•Justin Curtis Creer, a former Kemper County District 3 Supervisor.

•Minh Duong, a Meridian optometrist.

•Rod Hickman, a county prosecutor with Noxubee County Justice Court who lives in Macon.

•Kim Houston, a former Meridian City Council Ward 4 Alderwoman.

•Keith K. Jackson, son of Sen. Jackson.

The special election for Jackson’s seat is set for Nov. 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held Nov. 23.

Voter Registration

The end of the qualifying window for candidates coincides with National Voter Registration Month, and Secretary of State Michael Watson is encouraging all eligible Mississippians to register or update their registration to vote.

“The right to vote is one of the greatest liberties in our country,” Watson said in a press release announcing the initiative. “In 2020 alone, more than 113,000 Mississippians registered to vote. As of today, the Statewide Election Management System reported roughly 31,000 newly registered voters since January 1, 2021. As the state's Chief Elections Officer, it's my responsibility to ensure all eligible Mississippians exercise their right to vote. That’s why we are more than excited to participate in this national initiative to promote educational resources and build an informed voting population.”

To register to vote in Mississippi, residents must have lived in their town for at least 30 days prior to the election, be at least 18 years old, not declared mentally incompetent by a court and not have been convicted of a disenfranchising crime.

Disenfranchising crimes in Mississippi include: voter fraud, murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, bigamy, armed robbery, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, larceny, receiving stolen property, robbery, timber larceny, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, statutory rape, carjacking and larceny under lease or rental agreement.

Lauderdale County residents can register to vote by visiting the Circuit Clerk’s office, room 104, at 500 Constitution Ave. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and voter registration is accepted at anytime.

Mail-in voter registration forms can be found online at lauderdalecounty.org or on the Secretary of State’s elections website, yallvote.ms.

The Circuit Clerk’s office will also be open 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 2 to give residents a final chance to register prior to the special election. The deadline to register to vote in the special election is the following Monday, Oct. 4.

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