Local primaries coming up April 6th

South Mississippians, it’s almost time once more to grab your voter ID or other form of acceptable identification and make your way to the polls.

Nearly five months after a huge push to get voters out to the polls for the presidential election, cities across South Mississippi will be holding primary elections for city leaders this coming Tuesday, April 6th.

Before showing up at the polls next week, Coast residents should be aware of a few differences between voting in municipal elections versus the elections in November.

City of Gulfport Public Information Officer LaShaundra McCarty said, “It’s not just primaries. It’s an opportunity for voters to pick who they actually want to make it to the next step of the general election. So, if they don’t vote, they don’t have a voice in that particular decision.”

As Coast residents prepare to hit the polls once again, voters should keep a few things in mind before casting their ballots Tuesday in their respective municipal elections.

The upcoming elections are being run by individual cities, not the county. Therefore, where citizens go to vote may be different than it was in November. “Well, the procedures are essentially the same because we both get our regulations from the state, but the location is probably not.”

Pascagoula Public Information Officer Katarina Luketich said, “Where you voted back in November may not necessarily be where you’re going to vote on Tuesday. So just make sure you check your voter’s registration card, make sure you look at your city voting location.”

While five Coast cities have uncontested mayoral races and four others have candidates from multiple parties, Long Beach and Ocean Springs’ new mayors will be decided in the primaries with no opposition from the Democratic party. Diamondhead is the only South Mississippi city that will have no contested primary elections.

“Well, here in Pascagoula we’re in a unique situation where every single one of our races is going to be decided in the primary election. So, if you want to have your voice heard, now is definitely the time to come out and vote.”

To ensure residents’ health and safety during the voting process, coastal cities including Pascagoula and Gulfport are providing masks and hand sanitizer at precincts.

Additionally, cities are offering absentee voting. The last day to vote absentee in most cities along the Coast is Saturday. “The primary is specifically for your party in particular. So, if you are a registered Democrat, you want the Democrat ballot. You need to ask for that when you go in. If you’re a Republican, you do likewise.”

For more information about absentee voting deadlines and where to vote this Tuesday, visit your city’s website, Facebook page, or call your city clerk’s office.

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