Officials get update on voter ID

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

State voting law and a flood prevention mandate received attention at the Tuesday night board of aldermen meeting, among other items.

Mississippi voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 2011 that requires all voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.

That amendment will go into effect during federal elections June 3. In anticipation of this, voter ID outreach coordinator David Holland and others are getting the word out to potential voters.

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Holland presented the board with information on Mississippi voter ID laws, to be passed onto ward residents and potential voters.

All voters must have some kind of photo identification. If an eligible voter doesn’t currently have a photo ID, one can be made free of charge at the circuit clerk’s office.

“You don’t need a voter ID card to vote. The card is for those who don’t have another form of photo ID, but would like to vote.”

A driver’s license, U.S. passport, firearm license and a student ID are a few of the photo IDs that may be used on election day.

Now, it’s the obligation of circuit clerks, and city and county officials to let residents know about voter ID information, according to Holland.

Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garrick Combs, who had updated the board of supervisors earlier in the day on county projects, addressed city officials Tuesday night.

“I wanted to let you know about how things have been going at the chamber since I time there. I also wanted to let you know what future plans we have,” Combs told the board.

He mentioned his association with the Mississippi Development Authority, and notified the board of steps the chamber intends on following to increase local business in the area.

“We have specific steps we are going to take. We want to recruit business. We want to support businesses in the area and we want to help grow businesses in the area,” Combs said.

In other meeting activity, representatives with Five County Community Transportation, a non-profit transportation service, requested use of the Godbold Transportation Center train depot as a satellite office.

Five County Community Transportation is seeking to expand their existing service operation into Brookhaven and Lincoln County.

“We have services in surrounding counties already. We would like to provide our service to your community,” noted Five County representative Tony Middleton.

For a small fee, Five County Community Transportation provides transportation services for community members to and from the train depot.

Once a rental agreement is drawn up by city attorney Joe Fernald for use of the Godbolt Transportation Center, the matter will go back before the board for consideration.

In other discussion, Public Works Director Steve Moreton requested the board amend the city’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, to comply with recent mandates of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

During a review in recent months, MEMA notified Moreton that the state requires 18 inches of free board. Free board is the difference between flood elevation and finished floor elevation.

“The state suggests at least 18 inches of free board. I suggest we go to two feet,” suggested Moreton.

According to Moreton, this will help decrease insurance premiums. The board approved Moreton’s recommendation unanimously.

In other news, the board approved a beer permit for Little Tokyo restaurant in a 6-1 vote in favor. A new permit is required when there is a change in ownership.

Marshand Crisler, with Legal Shield, updated the board on efforts to provide city workers, and others, a legal service product. “This is a great service to provide workers. It offers legal protection and advice at a fair price.”

Ward Six Alderman asked Crisler if attorneys involved with Legal Shield were local.

“Attorneys work out of Jackson. They do consult with local attorneys, depending upon the case,” Crisler answered.

The board will meet again Tuesday, Feb. 4.