General election: there’s no runoff says Sec. of State

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 13, 2015

General election: there’s no runoff says Sec. of State

By John Howell
There will be no runoff following the November 3 General Election.

Panola County Circuit Clerk Melissa Meek-Phelps said that she has received an “overwhelming amount of phone calls” with questions about whether a majority is necessary.

In a General Election, only a plurality is required to win. There is no runoff.

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Mississippi Assistant Secretary of State Lee Anne Brandon cited language in both the Mississippi Election Code and the state constitution stating that after general election votes have been counted, election managers, “…shall deliver a certificate of his election to the person having the greatest number of votes.”

Contributing to the confusion in Panola County, Meek-Phelps said, is memory of the 2010 special election to fill the remaining term of former Panola County Sheriff Hugh “Shot” Bright, who died in office. That election was held at the same time as the 2010 General Election.

In a  special election to fill an unexpired term, a runoff is held if no candidate receives a majority. In 2010 the special election for sheriff required a runoff.