Registration deadline for election nears

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, September 30, 2012

In drawings and games of chance, the saying is, “You can’t win if you don’t enter.”

     When the subject is the far more important issue of elections, the phrase should be, “You can’t vote if you don’t register.”

     For those who have not registered but wish to participate in the Nov. 6 election, you have less than a week to get signed up with the circuit clerk’s office.

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     Saturday, Oct. 6, is the deadline to register to be eligible to cast a ballot in the upcoming federal, state and local elections. To assist in the registration process, the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s office is open regular hours this week and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

     Anyone who wants to register needs to be at least 18 years old and must have lived in their current residence at least 30 days. A caveat to that rule is that anyone who will be 18 on Nov. 6 can register now and be able to cast a vote that day.

     Election officials also reminded citizens who have recently moved to come by the clerk’s office in the courthouse and register at their new address. Re-registering is important to ensure that everyone votes in the proper precinct and that jury summonses reach people when necessary.

     The Nov. 6 election, which will use county voting locations, will feature federal contests for president and U.S. senator and representative. There will be one state contest for a spot on the state’s supreme court.

     Local races on the upcoming ballot include five election commissioner spots and two positions on the Lincoln County School District board of trustees. Rounding out the local contests will be special election to fill the unexpired circuit clerk term.

     The election process is well under way at the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s office, officials said. Lincoln County’s election ballots have been proofed, and absentee ballots are expected to arrive early this week.

     Absentee voting in the clerk’s office will begin as soon as the ballots arrive.

     Anyone needing a mail-out absentee ballot may contact the clerk’s office at (601) 835-3435 to request one. Officials reminded those receiving mail-out absentee ballots that they must return those ballots by mail as well.

       Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. Nov. 5, so absentee voters should return their ballots as soon as possible after receiving them.

     Both locally and nationally, the Nov. 6 election will help shape the future for the next four years and beyond.

     Therefore, it is crucial that everyone who is eligible to have a say in that process be able to do so. The first step toward that goal is to register to vote.

     If you don’t participate in the process, you and your candidates may both lose out.