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Sec. Watson orders Canton election officials to certify results or show cause why they won’t

Secretary of State of Mississippi Michael Watson
Secretary of State of Mississippi Michael Watson(wtok)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 12:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Canton’s Municipal Election Commission has just days to certify the 2021 general election or tell the state why it refuses to do so.

July 6, Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson submitted a show-cause order to the commission demanding it certifies the results or provides a written response telling him why the results are not being certified.

If the commission does not comply, Watson informed members that his office would petition the court to compel it to do so.

The order excludes the two races that are headed to re-election.

On June 30, Senior Status Judge Jeff Weill ordered new elections in the Ward 2 and Ward 5 Board of Aldermen contests, citing numerous discrepancies in both.

Municipal elections were on June 8.

June 19, the commission notified Watson that it would not certify the results of three of the races in the general election, citing a previous ruling handed down by Weill.

Results were being challenged in the Ward 1, Ward 2, and Ward 5 races.

Days later, the commission said it would not certify any of the results, again citing Weill’s ruling.

Weill, who was appointed to preside over the case by the Mississippi Supreme Court, invalidated the results of Canton’s Democratic primary, saying that the committee that oversaw the primary had been illegally formed.

Mayor William Truly, who won re-election, filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court seeking to compel the commission to certify the results.

Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate Chip Matthews filed a separate suit asking the court to declare him the winner in the June 8 race, saying the Democratic Party had not submitted a proper ballot for the general election.

Thursday, the judge informed the parties in that case that he would not act in the case because Watson had issued a show-cause order.

A copy of that order is shown below.

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