Hancock County election officials on Tuesday certify a record 3,535 absentee ballots after the 2020 General Election.

All 25 Hancock County voting precincts had reported in by around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, but the Hancock Circuit Clerk’s office was still counting a record 3,535 absentee votes.

Unofficial totals on Tuesday, minus the absentee ballots, showed Hancock County voters overwhelmingly preferred to reelect U.S. President Donald Trump over his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Trump/Mike Pence ticket earned 13,999 votes to the Biden/Kamala Harris ticket’s 3,095 in Hancock County, before absentee ballots were counted.

Statewide, with 75 percent of precincts reporting, Trump had the popular vote by a wide margin, earning 500,880 votes to Biden’s 304,880.

Other presidential candidate totals in Hancock County included:

• Don Blankenship and William Mohr, American Constitution party, 18 votes.

• Brian Carroll and Amar Patel, American Solidarity party, 20.

• Phil Collins and Bill Parker, Independent, 15.

• Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, Green Party, 21.

• Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen, Libertarian, 165.

• Brock Pierce and Karla Ballard, Independent, 8.

• Kanye West and Michelle Tidball, Independent, 41.

There were also 21 write-in votes in the race.

In the U.S. Senate race, Hancock County residents echoed the sentiments of voters statewide, voting overwhelmingly to reelect incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R., over Democratic challenger Mike Espy, 12,490 to 4,183.

State-wide, Hyde-Smith earned 434,447 votes to Espy’s 303,281 in unofficial totals, or about 57.7 percent of the vote to Espy’s 49.3 percent. Libertarian candidate Jimmy Edwards earned 14,894 votes statewide — or about two percent — and 508 votes in Hancock County.

In the Bay-Waveland School District Board of Trustees race, unofficial totals on Tuesday evening showed Jesse Shiyou with 1,195 votes to Dr. Barbara Coatney’s 839, but election officials said the number of absentee ballots could potentially change the outcome of that race.

Statewide measures

Hancock Countians on Tuesday approved Initiative 65 to allow the prescribed use of medical marijuana in the state.

There were two medical marijuana measures on the ballot.

Measure No. 65 said, “Should Mississippi allow qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions, as certified by Mississippi licensed physicians, to use medical marijuana?”

Alternative Measure No. 65A said, “Shall Mississippi establish a program to allow the medical use of marijuana products by qualified persons with debilitating medical conditions?”

In unofficial totals, 11,519 Hancock Countians voted for approval of either measure while 3,690 voted against both; 11,333 voted for Initiative 65 while 2,904 voted for 65A.

Statewide, about 452,134 voted for either measure and 222,194 voted against both. About 439,943 Mississippians voted for Initiative 65 and 154,949 voted for Alternative 65A.

On the state flag referendum, 10,294 Hancock voters approved the new design while 6,844 voted against it. Statewide, about 510,411 voted for it and 228,763 against.

Hancock County voters also voted “yes” by a wide margin on the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution No. 47, which provided that “to be elected governor or to any other statewide office, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes in the general election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, then a runoff election shall be held as provided by general law.”

In unofficial totals, 13,332 Hancock County voters were for the resolution with 3,077 against.

Statewide, with 78 percent of precincts reporting, 597,036 voters were for it with 174,257 against.

Uncontested races

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, Republican, ran unopposed to hold onto his 4th Congressional District seat, earning 14,581 votes in Hancock County, not counting absentee ballots, with 559 write-in votes.

Mike Randolph ran unopposed for reelection to his nonpartisan state Supreme Court justice seat for District 2, Position 3. He earned 13,228 votes in Hancock, minus absentees, with 100 write-in votes.

There were five nonpartisan Hancock County Election Commissioner seats on the ballot, and all included unopposed candidates, including Stephanie Davis Ladner for Commissioner 1; Sandra “Sam” Henley for Commissioner Two; Eugene Joseph “E.J.” Bice for Commissioner 3; Caroline Maurigi Adam for Commissioner 4; and Joe Pettigrew for Commissioner 5.

Danita Ladner Holladay was also uncontested in her bid to remain the District 5 representative on the Hancock County School Board.

Election officials said Tuesday that the absentee ballots would be added to the totals at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

The clerk’s office must also wait 10 days to see if any other mail-in ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 come in before certifying the election.

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