Mississippi embraced a new state flag design and medical marijuana Tuesday, and Tallahatchie countians voted heavily in favor of both.
The “In God We Trust” flag, a design prominently featuring a magnolia flower and the national motto, was waved in by about 72% of voters statewide. Locally, the new flag earned 73% support. Legislators still must formally enact the banner into law.
Some 68% of Mississippi voters approved the use of marijuana for the treatment of certain ailments and conditions, with 74% also embracing a version proposed through the statewide initiative process over one offered as a legislative option. In Tallahatchie County, 73% of voters were high on pot for medicinal purposes. Of those, 76% also supported the version put forth by petition.
More local voters — some 55% in all — favored Democrat Joe Biden over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump, although Trump won Mississippi with about 60% of ballots.
On the national level early Wednesday, Biden led Trump in electoral college votes with uncounted results from several key battleground states still hanging in the balance, and already rumblings of lawsuits and court actions yet to come.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican, claimed about 56% of the statewide vote in turning back a reelection challenge from Democrat Mike Espy, but Tallahatchie County gave Espy more than 58% of the local vote.
Veteran U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson easily won reelection to his 2nd Congressional District seat. The Democrat defeated Republican challenger Brian Flowers with about 65% of the vote. Flowers fared a little better in Tallahatchie County, where Thompson received 61%.
In the race for Mississippi Supreme Court, Northern District 3, incumbent Josiah Dennis Coleman compiled about 63% of the districtwide vote to win reelection over Percy L. Lynchard. A majority of Tallahatchians, 59%, likewise supported Coleman.
There were only a few locally contested races, and those in which incumbents competed were won by the present officeholder.
In a race for the District 1 seat on the Tallahatchie County Election Commission, fellow Charlestonians Margaret McIntyre Simmons, 56, and Brenda J. Walton-Willis, 60, dueled for a position being vacated by Kelly Standard, and Simmons won 689-475. Standard, 58, of Enid, has held the slot for 20 years and presently serves as chairman of the commission. He opted against seeking reelection.
In a race for the District 2 Election Commission seat, incumbent Dennis Brown, 62, of Charleston, was reelected with 501 votes, or 54%. Challengers LaSuna “Chell” Curry, 44, and Earnest Braxton, 67, received 284 and 131 votes, respectively.
In Education District 5, Ikema “Ike” Olive, 40, of the Sharkey Road community, gave incumbent Cora B. Hooper, 64, of Glendora, a run for her money. However, unofficial results on election night suggest that Hooper will be able to keep her seat on the West Tallahatchie School District Board of Trustees. Hooper received 211 votes while Olive had 192.
Nearly 59% of Tallahatchie County’s 9,806 registered voters cast a ballot either in person or by absentee Tuesday, but local participation still lagged behind that of the past two presidential general elections.
Four years ago, 62% of local registered voters turned out. In 2012, 72% of Tallahatchians voted in that year’s general election.
Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, Standard said he was aware of no major local election-day issues impacting Tuesday’s vote.