Lincoln County heads to the polls

Published 8:37 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Photo by Donna Campbell/Carolyn Kees, poll manager for the Johnson’s Grove precinct, goes over some last minute instructions with Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield Monday. Polls are open until 7 p.m. today.

Photo by Donna Campbell/Carolyn Kees, poll manager for the Johnson’s Grove precinct, goes over some last minute instructions with Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield Monday. Polls are open until 7 p.m. today.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. in 31 precincts in Lincoln County.

Voters will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for president, state supreme court justice, U.S. House of Representatives Third Congressional District and election commissioner.

“We can honor our members of the Armed Forces who are fighting to protect our rights by voting for our next elected leaders,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said.  “If absentee ballot requests are any indication, Mississippians will be at the polls in full force.”

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As of this Monday morning, 112,529 absentee ballots had been requested statewide. This is about 6,000 more than those requested and received throughout the state in the 2012 General Election, Hosemann said. About 1.86 million Mississippians are registered and eligible to cast a ballot on Election Day. 

In Lincoln County, 1,477 absentee ballots were requested as of Friday.  Absentee ballots received Tuesday will only be counted for the presidential race, said Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield. That’s a federal rule.

In 2012, the clerk’s office received 1,823 absentee ballots.

No hand delivered absentee ballots will be accepted.

There are 24,929 registered voters in Lincoln County — 21,000 of whom are active.

Two voting precincts have changed polling places this year. The City Hall precinct moved from the Chamber of Commerce to the Lincoln County Public Library on 100 S. Jackson St. in order to ensure that the polling place was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Pearlhaven precinct also moved from AbilityWorks to the Bicentennial Building on 200 Main Street. Bairfield said the move was to make room for school events held at the old location. 

Voters who experience a problem at the polls or have other questions should call the Secretary of State’s Election Hotline at 1-800-829-6786.  Circuit clerks, poll workers (including bailiffs), and election commissioners can also provide assistance. 

Other important information for Election Day is as follows:

• Voter ID: Voters are required to show photo identification at the polls. Acceptable photo identification includes a driver’s license; state or federal government-issued photo ID; U.S. passport; firearms license; student photo ID from an accredited Mississippi college, university, or junior and community college; U.S. military ID; tribal photo ID; or free Mississippi Voter ID card.  A voter without proper identification will be allowed to cast an affidavit ballot.  An affidavit ballot is counted if the voter provides proper identification to the Circuit Clerk or obtains a free Mississippi Voter ID card within five business days (Nov. 16) after the election.

• Campaigning: It is unlawful to campaign for any candidate or party within 150 feet of a polling place, unless on private property. 

• Loitering: It is unlawful for any person to loiter within 30 feet of a polling place, including within a polling place.  Voters should please leave the polling place after voting.

• Privacy:  A voter is not permitted to show his or her marked ballot to any other person.

• Poll watchers: Parties are permitted two credentialed poll watchers in each polling place, and candidates are permitted one credentialed poll watcher.  Individuals not authorized as a credentialed poll watcher by a party or a candidate will not be permitted to observe or loiter inside the polling place.  Circuit clerks, election commissioners, pollworkers, and authorized observers are also permitted to remain in polling places.

• Observers: The Secretary of State’s Office will have observers at polling places in at least 32 counties throughout the State.  The Attorney General’s Office will also have observers stationed throughout the State.  Observers do not have the authority to rectify any problems arising at the polls, but they can contact the Secretary of State’s Office and any relevant local election official, District Attorney, or law enforcement officials.

• Write-in votes: Write-in votes are only counted in the event of the death, resignation, withdrawal, or removal of any candidate whose name was printed on the official ballot.