Some county races will be decided by absentee ballots counts

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Some Panola County political races were decided at the polls Tuesday, but the winners in some contests will not be known until absentee votes are counted later tonight, and final tallies may not be known until early Wednesday morning.

Still waiting to know the outcomes of their races are the candidates for Chancery Court Clerk and Tax Assessor/Collector. There are still 948 absentee votes to be tallied and about 60 provisionals.

In the countywide races, the 1,000 outstanding votes can make a difference, but aren’t likely to move the needle much in individual districts.

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Overall, 10,530 people cast votes in person on Tuesday. That is 46.73 percent of the 22,535 eligible voters in the county. That number will move slightly upward after absentees are included.

Winning re-election was Sheriff Shane Phelps and Circuit Clerk Melissa Meek-Phelps. Christopher Gulledge won the Coroner race for the office held by his mother Gracie Grant Gulledge.

In the Sheriff’s race, with 21 of 21 precincts reporting, Phelps had 5,577 votes, Dennis Darby had 4,068, and Otis Griffin had 769.

In the Circuit Court Clerk’s race, Mellissa Meek Phelps outpolled Hollie Roberson 6,513 to 3,772.

In the Tax Assessor/Collector’s race, Odell Draper has 5,164 votes to David Garner’s 5,107.

In the Chancery Court Clerk’s race, Katie Ragon has 4,742, Justin Pope has 4,401, Jamie Rose haws 709, and Melvin Tucker has 354.

In the Coroner’s race, Christopher Gulledge has 4,701 and Troy Smith has 3,408 votes. Devin Townes garnered 1,670 votes.

In the race for Constable, Post 1, Faye Pettis has 1,690 votes and Coda Medlin has 943.

In the race for Constable, Post 2, Maurice Market has 3,414 votes, Jamie Snider has 2,466 votes, and Rusty Woods has 1,648 votes.