Bolden and Truly in runoff in Canton mayor's race - - The News for South Mississippi

Madison DA will investigate Canton voting irregularities

CANTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Madison, Rankin County District Attorney Michael Guest says his office has received numerous complaints of voting irregularities in the Canton municipal election.

His office is meeting with people and is encouraging anyone with information to come into his office and issue complaints in writing. 

Guest says he's launching an investigation based on the high number of complaints, which will begin after the election.

based on the high number of complaints, district attorney Michael guest says he's got enough to open an investigation into the canton elections.

Guest says, "The complaints we received have run from voter intimidation, improper assisting people as they're voting, there also have been complaints that arose before the election about individuals who registered at addresses in which there were no residence."

On Berry street in Canton there aren't any houses, but eight registered voters using the street as their address. If their names show up in the voter rolls for numerous elections, Guest says they broke the law.

"While it would be a proper address, there would not be a residence there and there would not be one voter, but multiple voters registered at these fictitious addresses. Those are the things we will begin to look at," says Guest.  "Were just concerned as the elections are held fairly and held in accordance with the law."

Anyone with complaints about the election are asked to file them in person, in writing with the District Attorney's office in Canton.

Arnel Bolden and Canton Mayor Dr. William Truly will meet in a runoff May 21 in the Canton Democratic mayoral primary. Official returns show Bolden with 946 votes and Mayor Truly with 936.

Madison County election officials have certified the Democratic Primary results. Results in the GOP Primary race for mayor are still unofficial but "Chip" Matthews, Jr. is leading one other candidates with 86% of the vote.

Matthews will most likely face the winner of the Truly/Bolden runoff in the June 4 General Election.

The other Democratic primary winners in Canton are:

  • Ward 1 Alderman -- Rodriquez Brown
  • Ward 2 Alderman -- Claude A. Banks
  • Ward 3 Alderman -- Les. A Penn
  • Ward 4 Alderman -- Daphne Johnson Sims
  • Ward 5 Alderman -- Reuben Myers
  • Ward 6 Alderman -- E.T. Gilkey (Payton)
  • Ward 7 Alderman -- Andrew Grant

Get complete municipal primary election results.

Candidates and residents in Canton were criticizing election officials for the delay in certifying the election, which was finally done Thursday around noon.

"It is totally ridiculous," said Ward 1 Alderman candidate Ray Rosemond.  "Chicago could have had an election and be through and certified by now."

Rosemond lost his race by four votes and plans to challenge the results.

Members of the Canton Municipal Executive Committee say the delay was a malfunction in the computer that counts the ballots and gives a final tally of the votes.

"It was the machine and it looked like we had an inexperienced tech," said Committee member Marion Freeman.

Representatives from the Secretary of State's office have been in Canton monitoring the vote count.

Incumbent Mayor William Truly expressed concerns the problems with the election may have started with the voting process.

We have to get rid of ghost voters, who are people who come in who are from Madison, Ridgeland, Brandon Carthage, surrounding areas," Truly said. "They may come in and vote as a person who is on the registration roll.  The person may have moved away or may be dead."

On Berry Street, WLBT News uncovered one possible example of why the voter rolls in Canton may need to be purged.

There are eight registered voters on the street, but there are no houses.  Just a block away on Cross street, there are 17 people registered to vote but only one house and a trailer.

We asked election officials to look at the signatures on the sign in sheet from the polls, but our request was denied.

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