Battle Over Ballot Continues - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 09/11/08

Battle Over Ballot Continues

The fight over where to put the special election for United States Senate was heard in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Pike County Election Commissioner Trudy Berger says the current placement of the race at the bottom of the ballot will confuse voters and cause some to miss voting in the race altogether.

Judge Tomie Green heard arguments for almost two hours as attorneys explained their points of view.

Tuesday, the governor chose to keep the special election between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove at the bottom of the ballot.

State law says special elections must be "clearly distinguished" from regular elections.

Mississippi historically has grouped those at the bottom of the ballot.

Berger's lawyer Sam Begley explained how this will confuse voters.

"My client is a local election commissioner, she told the state board of election commissioners Tuesday that people will go to the polling place and say well here's one spot for senate and you have to jump down seven more spots till you find the other senator.  So there's confusion there."

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said with the electronic voting booths, the computer will alert voters if they miss voting on a certain race.  In fact, voters will be notified three times.

Attorneys for Governor Barbour say they will file a quick appeal if Judge Green rejects the governor's plan.

Judge Green says she will file her ruling in the ballot dispute tomorrow.

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