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Officials hope for record turnout

Local circuit clerks are expecting what may be a record turnouthere Tuesday when citizens go to the polls to cast their votes forpresident and some local offices.

Based on the absentee voting period, which ended Saturday, longlines may be expected at area precincts, and vote-counting could golate into the night, said Lawrence County Circuit Clerk CindyStokes.

The Lawrence County office had received more than 600 absenteeballots by early Friday afternoon and citizens were continuing tocast votes in a steady stream, she said.

“We are bombarded today with absentee voting,” Stokes said. “Ourabsentee ballot box is full, but we keep shoving them in.”

Her office had received more than 60 absentee ballots by 11 a.m.Friday alone, she said.

Franklin County is also expecting a large turnout based on earlyvoting results. Their office received more than 330 absenteeballots during the period.

“That is very big for our county and they’re still coming in,” aFranklin County Circuit Clerk’s office spokesperson said. “We got alot of requests from Camp Shelby – a lot of military requests.”

Requests were also made by college students studying in otherareas of the state or abroad, she said.

“I think between the presidential election and the supervisor’srace it’s bringing out the votes,” she said.

Franklin County has a hotly contested race for District Foursupervisor that includes six candidates.

A vote to create a possibly create an amendment to the stateConstitution is also drawing in votes, clerks said.

If approved, the amendment provides that marriages inMississippi may only be between a man and a woman. It also wouldprohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed inother states.

Mississippi has banned same-sex marriages since 1997.

A possible area of confusion that may confront Lawrence Countyvoters Tuesday is a change in voting places for two precincts.

The Tilton precinct has moved from Holmes Store to the newTilton Fire Department on Givens Mullins Road at the Price Roadintersection. The change was made to make the precinct morecompliant with the Help America Vote Act.

The East Arm precinct has moved from the Old Hedgepeth Store onStumptown Road to Hepzibah Baptist Church, just off Stumptown Roadon Hepzibah Lane.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some first-timevoters may be required to show identification, although most willnot.

Voters who visit a precinct and find that their name is not onthe voter registration roll should be allowed to vote by affadavitballot. Before voting by affadavit, however, voters should ask thepoll worker if they are at the correct precinct. Votes cast at thewrong precinct are invalid.