DeSoto Vote Count Continues; Could Affect Senate Race

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(Hernando, MS) Commissioner Carl Payne blames a huge number of absentee ballots combined with an unusual occurrence in a week-long vote count, 'We had something different this time than we've ever had before, and that is we had a special election going on along with the general."

That special election was to fill the Mississippi Senate seat 19 vacated by Merle Flowers earlier this year.

Dr. David Parker got the most votes, but not more than fifty percent.

Now, provisional ballots are making it a real horse race to figure out whether Pat Nelson or Kevin Blackwell will face him in next Tuesday's runoff.

'Like they say, we won`t know until the fat lady sings."

In this case, the fat lady is a Resolution Board made up of members not connected with the campaigns and the Election Commission.

They're looking over votes that didn't get filled out properly or have other issues.

So far, the Resolution Board has found about a dozen ballots which have problems but I'm told most of those will be cleared.

Any evidence of fraud could go to local law enforcement or even the FBI.

For now, Nelson maintains a slight lead over Blackwell.

"I hope that by tonight we will be through with the resolution board and after that we will probably meet tomorrow night and certify the election," said Payne.

Then the process will start all over again for Tuesday's runoff.