Quick turn around required for Grady EMC runoff ballots

It was not until Monday of this week that Grady EMC members began receiving the absentee ballots mailed to them by third party contractor Survey & Ballot System Inc., of Eden Prairie, MN.
Ballots have been mailed to the 13,000-plus members of Grady EMC for the runoff election between District 3 incumbent director H. Lamar Carlton and challenger B. Hestell Donaldson Jr.
Grady EMC officials had announced that ballots would be mailed by Nov. 22. The ballots must be returned to SBS prior to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Dec. 13, 2017.
According to Grady EMC, absolutely no ballots will be accepted at the EMC headquarters on U.S. 84 West. All ballots are to be mailed back to SBS in order to be counted. Officials say that ballots mailed to Grady EMC or dropped off at the EMC headquarters will not be counted.
EMC members are also reminded to color in their choice on the ballot and not to use check marks or an X.
Donaldson was the top vote-getter in the Oct. 20 directors election garnering a total of 1,189 votes. Incumbent director Carlton, who has served on the EMC board for 39 years, came in second with 708 votes and a second challenger, Richard R. (Ricky) Smith came in third with 547 votes.
In the last two election cycles, veteran incumbent directors have been voted out by the membership.
On Oct. 20, challenger Gordon Clyatt defeated veteran District 6 director Robert E. Lee and in 2016 challengers Earl Stuckey and Ronald Sellars knocked off District 5 director Lamar Strickland and District 2 director Caylor Ouzts.
Carlton and Donaldson are both Thomas County residents, however Donaldson is a native of Cairo and is a 1962 graduate of Cairo High School.

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