Lincoln County ready to vote
In just two days, Lincoln County voters will decide who they want sitting in the Oval Office.
About 21,000 voters could be making their choices known with their vote. Whether they’re voting Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or one of the other parties represented on the ballot, most of those we spoke to recently stressed the importance of voting. Pastor A.C. Herring, Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop, Brookhaven Alderman Shirley Estes, Republican Women President Cindy Moore and Lincoln County Tax Assessor Blake Pickering all said voting was a privilege and one they took very seriously.
From now until Tuesday night, they’ll be watching the last days of the campaign and waiting for the results.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump declared Saturday he would spend some of the last hours of the presidential campaign in Democratic strongholds, promising to pull off a shocker in states that haven’t voted for a Republican in decades.
Campaigning in Florida, where he appears to be running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton, Trump plans to head to Minnesota in the final days of the campaign. He’ll also campaign in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Minnesota hasn’t cast its electoral votes for a Republican since 1972. A Republican hasn’t won Michigan or Pennsylvania since 1988.
“We’re going into what they used to call Democrat strongholds, where we’re now either tied or leading,” he told a rowdy crowd at a rally in Tampa. “We’re going to Minnesota, which traditionally has not been Republican at all.” Public polls from earlier this fall found a comfortable lead for Clinton in Minnesota.
Trump on Saturday kicked off a marathon day in Florida, a state he essentially must win to take the White House. Polls suggest a Florida nail-biter. Democrats say Hispanic voters are showing up in droves to vote early, while Republicans point to signs that reliably Democratic African-American voters are not coming out in the numbers that helped deliver the state to President Barack Obama.
Clinton, too, started her day in Florida, with a stop at an early-voting site in Miami and a rainy outdoor rally outside the city.
“You’re a hardy bunch,” she told a soaked crowd, before cutting short her remarks as rain poured down. “Let’s vote for the future!”
In Lincoln County, several residents offered their take on the presidential election.
Rev. A.C. Herring has been a Democrat all his life and he currently plans to vote for Clinton.
But Herring said it’s important for the two parties to work together, and he’s sad to see divisions growing between the parties.
“I think the Republican and Democrat party should work together as husband and wife — and we’re the children,” Herring said. “For the benefit of the country, they should work together and not destroy.”
Herring said both candidates should be more civil and focus on the issues.
“I don’t think they’re being instructed properly on how to act as a political leader,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for a candidate to destroy one’s character. They should be concerned about what we’re going to do for the country.”
Herring said he would pray for whichever candidate won the election.
Chancery Court Clerk Tillmon Bishop said he switched from Democrat to Republican two terms ago — a personal choice based on the party’s national platform.
“When I changed to the Republican party, there were no other countywide officials that were Republican,” he said. “It was a nerve-wracking time for my wife and I, but we felt it was the right thing to do.”
Bishop said he would be voting for Trump on Tuesday.
“I’m voting for partially for Donald Trump, but also partially against the other party,” he said. “Primarily, it’s because of the platform.”
Bishop said a person’s hope for the presidential election won’t matter if they don’t go out and vote Tuesday.
“I think most people have got their mind made up,” Bishop said. “The kicker is, if they’re actually going to get up and go vote. I would suggest that anybody who has a candidate that they’re in favor of, don’t just talk about it. Go do something about it.”
Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Estes did not say who she would vote for publicly, but she did say she planned to get out and vote.
“I’ve voted since I was a teenager,” she said. “I couldn’t wait to register.”
Estes said she does have a candidate in mind.
“We tend to look at background, education, suitability and respectability — a sense of responsibility to everybody in all areas of the spectrum, from the person with the least to the person with the most,” she said. “All of the conflicts that we see and hear every day with so much exposure has tended to complicate things more.”
That exposure — driven she said by the media — has made the decision more difficult for everybody. Despite the growing division between parties on a national level, she said the discourse in Brookhaven has been civil.
“I find people in Brookhaven being very civil,” she said. “People have very strong feelings one way or another, but I’m grateful we can live in a place where we can have as much civility in a country so polarized.”
Cindy Moore is president of the Lincoln County Republican Women, and it’s no surprise that she’s all-in for Trump.
“In addition to being a voice in government for the people, he is absolutely the best candidate to move our economy in the right direction,” she said.
Moore said she believed that Trump will win the election, but the numbers will be close. She said the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women and the Federation of College Republicans will be hard at work in Florida drumming up support.
“The final 72-hour “Get out the vote” efforts leading up to the General Election will prove crucial in securing needed support from undecided, independent, millennial and women voters,” she said.
Tax Assessor Blake Pickering stopped short of naming a candidate, but he said he’s planning to stick to the individual best suited to a Christian, conservative viewpoint.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see another election cycle quite like this year,” he said.
Pickering will be out of the county on Tuesday and has already voted, but he’s looking forward to Tuesday — though he’s worried that some people may be disillusioned by the results.
“Regardless about how people feel about it, I hope it doesn’t cause any apathy towards the process,” he said.