Voter registration deadline next week

From Press & Staff Reports

Eligible Webster Countians who have never registered to vote have a little over a week to do so in order to vote in the general election. Absentee voting is also underway.

Residents who have never registered to vote in the county and who will be 18 by Nov. 8 may register until noon Saturday, Oct. 8, at the circuit clerk’s office. The office is located in the temporary courthouse (County Office Building) at 16 E. Fox Ave., Eupora, and is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Anyone with questions may call 258-6287.

The 2016 general election, in addition to contested seats on the county Election Commission and School Board and a special election for circuit judge, includes races for U.S. president and House of Representatives.

‘Y’all Vote’

“Y’all Vote” launched earlier this month in connection with National Voter Registration Month. The site allows citizens to change their voter-roll information by submitting an online application, and acts as an online voter information center aimed at preparing voters to cast a ballot on Election Day.

“Using modern technology to streamline the process for registered voters to update their information makes sense for voters and circuit clerks,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed legislation enabling Y’all Vote in April.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann agreed.

“Making it more convenient for Mississippi voters to change preexisting information, while ensuring the security and accuracy of information submitted, was the ultimate goal of Y’all Vote,” Hosemann said. “However, there are numerous other benefits, including saving taxpayers’ time and money. We will be able to print less paper applications and process
information more efficiently. Voters will not have to pay for postage.”

Changing voter registration information on Y’all Vote is accomplished in three steps online.

For a change in name or address to be processed, a voter must provide his or her county, name, date of birth and the last four digits of his or her Social Security number so the voter can be located in the Statewide Elections Management System, Mississippi’s voter registration database.

A voter must also be located in the Department of Public Safety database by providing his or her name, address, date of birth and driver’s license or identification number exactly as the information appears on his or her state-issued license or ID. The new information is then available to the relevant circuit clerk, who also checks for accuracy. Providing false information on Y’all Vote is a crime.

Importantly, address changes after Oct. 8 require the voter to contact the circuit clerk in his or her county in which the voter is currently registered.

Y’all Vote is the product of study groups organized by the Secretary of State’s Office in 2015 that examined the need and feasibility of implementing online voter registration in Mississippi.

Contested races

Contested races on the Nov. 8 ballot for Webster County include the Election Commission seats in District 3 and 5. Incumbent Etoile Herrod and Doris S. Tanner are running in District 3. Incumbent Regina Dean Reed, who was appointed in January, and Larry Parker are running in District 5.

Another contested local race is for District 2 School Board member. Candidates are incumbent Nancy Wade Davis and Rana Tabb Mitchell.

George M. Mitchell Jr. of Eupora will face off against Doug S. Crosby of Kosciusko in a special nonpartisan judicial election for Circuit Court judge District 5, Place 2. Mitchell was appointed to serve as circuit judge through the election, having taken office in January. Crosby serves as Attala County prosecuting attorney and youth court prosecutor.

Another nonpartisan judicial election is for an open seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court in District 3, Place 1. Four candidates are running: attorney John Brady of Columbus; Circuit Judge Bobby Chamberlin of Hernando, whose district covers DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties; attorney Steve Crampton of Tupelo; and Circuit Judge James T. “Jim” Kitchens of Caledonia, whose district covers Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is composed of nine justices, who are elected in staggered eight-year terms from three districts.
Justice Jimmy Maxwell of Oxford is unopposed for the District 3, Place 2 seat on the court. He served on the Court of Appeals from 2009 until Bryant appointed him to the Supreme Court in January to succeed former Justice David Chandler, who stepped down to direct the Division of Family and Children’s Services.
Jim N, Greenlee of Oxford, who replaced Maxwell on the Court of Appeals, is unchallenged in his bid to retain his District 1, Place 1 seat there.

The 1st Congressional District race for the U.S. House of Representatives will see Republican incumbent Trent Kelly seeking re-election against opponents Jacob Owens (Democrat), Cathy L. Toole (Reform Party) and Chase Wilson (Libertarian).

Running for president are Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and five third-party candidates.