Inmate votes in Hattiesburg could change Mayoral election outcome

The Hattiesburg election commission is close to certifying the results of Tuesday’s general election that shows Johnny DuPree winning his fourth term in office by 37 votes over challenger Dave Ware. The city clerks office says they lack only one signature from the 5 member election commission to officially certify the votes. Certification means the official results will be sent to the Secretary of State’s office.

However, certification also means Ware can now file his notice of examination. Thursday, Ware made clear that he plans to file the necessary paperwork to examine all the boxes, including absentee ballots. Ware held a 150 vote lead Tuesday night after all the boxes were counted, but nearly 600 absentee ballots pushed DuPree into the lead by 33 votes. Affidavit ballots later expanded his lead to 37.

While the Ware campaign is being silent about their strategy, there are indications that absentee ballots sent to inmates at the Forrest county jail could be a key point of contention.