Jackson mayor’s removal may delay ballots

The Hinds County Election Commission is working today to decide if it should move forward with ordering absentee ballots. The ballots were scheduled to be delivered to the Jackson city clerk’s office on Monday.

Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran said the county will likely wait until the conflict is resolved to order the absentee ballots.

“They obviously will be late because there is no way we will have them ready,” she said.

Melton attorney John Reeves can challenge the ruling with the Democratic Executive Committee or in a lawsuit in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Reeves said he does not think it would be wise to ask a committee to reconsider.

“Going back before a committee that ruled the mayor doesn’t live in Jackson and trying to convince them that he does is just nonsensical,” Reeves said.

The Democratic Executive Committee found that Melton did not meet the city’s residency requirements because he has filed for homestead exemption on a house in Texas, not in Jackson.

Homestead exemption is filed as part of property taxes and gives homeowners a tax break. The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that the exemption is a strong precedent for determining a candidate’s residency but is not conclusive.

Clarion Ledger
3/18/9