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Mississippi: candidate sues over new qualifying deadline

AP reports: A candidate in a special legislative election has filed a petition in Hinds County Circuit Court trying to block a state Election Commission decision that reopened the qualifying deadline in his contest and four others around the state.

Jim Arnold of Kosciusko, a candidate for the state Senate District 14 seat, filed the petition Wednesday.

The seat is open because of the death of Sen. Robert “Bunky” Huggins, R-Greenwood. One other Senate seat and two House seats also will be filled Nov. 7.

Originally, candidates’ qualifying deadline for the four special legislative elections was Sept. 8. But, the state Election Commission voted 2-1 last week to extend the deadline to Oct. 24.

Attorney General Jim Hood and Gov. Haley Barbour voted for the extension. Secretary of State Eric Clark voted against it.

Hood cited a state law that calls for the qualifying deadline in a special election to be “not less than 10 days” from the election. Clark said this meant a deadline could be more than 10 days, but Hood said it meant exactly 10 days.

In his petition for an injunction, Arnold — an attorney — says the extension is illegal and is designed to disenfranchise voters. The petition represents only one side of a legal argument, and it was not immediately clear when a judge would rule on it. -- Candidate seeks to stop new filing deadline in legislative races - The Clarion-Ledger

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