CALEDONIA, Miss. — An election was such a mess in one Mississippi town that officials are calling a do-over.

The mayor’s race Tuesday in Caledonia was counted three times, resulting in three different numbers, the Commercial Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/2sbvcTs). The town has about 1,000 residents.

The chairman of the local election commission, Ken Byars, acknowledged he took home an unsealed ballot box on election night. He said he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong.

“To tell you the truth, we didn’t even know we had the seals and I didn’t know there was anything wrong with taking the ballot box with me,” Byars said. “I had to take it somewhere when we left at midnight Tuesday. I put it in my locked truck and the box was padlocked and I had the key.”

Incumbent Mayor Bill Lawrence held a one-vote lead in two of he counts, while the other count showed a tie between Lawrence and challenger Mitch Wiggins.

“I feel like the election was taken away from me,” Lawrence said.

Wiggins’ attorney, Corky Smith, asked election commissioners to set aside Tuesday’s ballots and schedule the new election. One of the commissioners is Wiggins’ aunt, Mildred Wiggins.

The remaining commissioners are meeting soon to set a new election, which must be 30 to 45 days after that meeting. The ballot will list the same candidates as in the original election.

New municipal officials are supposed to start their four-year term on July 1.


Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com