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Brookhaven municipal clerk: ‘Let us help’ city voters

“Just call our office and let us help,” Brookhaven City Clerk Samantha Melancon tells anyone who has questions about voting in the city election.

A common question the clerk’s office gets is whether a person can absentee vote curbside. The answer is yes.

“If a person needs assistance and wants to vote curbside, they can call the office at 601-833-2362 and we’ll meet them at their car in the parking lot,” Melancon said.

Absentee voting

Registered voters who are unable to vote on election day — due to age, health, work demands, temporary relocation for educational purposes, or affiliation with the U.S. Armed Forces — may cast an absentee ballot ahead of time.

Voters must present a valid photo ID. This ID can be any of the following: a driver license; a government-issued photo ID card; a U.S. passport; a government employee photo ID card; a firearms license; a student photo ID from an accredited Mississippi university, college or community/junior college; a U.S. military photo ID; a tribal photo ID; a photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. or state government; or a Mississippi Voter Identification Card.

Anyone who does not present an acceptable form of photo ID — or does not due to a religious objection — is entitled to cast an affidavit ballot. In this case, he or she must present an acceptable form of photo ID within the Circuit Clerk or City Clerk’s Office within five business days after Election Day — by 5 p.m. June 15.

A person may register to vote at any time if he or she meets the requirements. The deadline for registration prior to the June 8 General Election has passed, however. The deadline was May 10.

A U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old (or will be by the date of the election), has not been declared mentally incompetent by a court, has not been convicted of a disenfranchising crime and has been a resident of the state, county, city or town for at least 30 days prior to the election may register to vote.

A person may absentee vote for the June 8 Brookhaven Municipal General Election in the City Clerk’s Office at 301 S. First St., Room 102. The office is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The office will also be open Saturday, May 29, and Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. until noon each day.

Absentee ballots requested by mail must be returned by mail, postmarked on or before June 8 and received by the City Clerk’s Office no later than 5 p.m. June 15.

Voting rights

Every qualified person in Mississippi is entitled to vote regardless or race, creed, color or disability. It is illegal to threaten, intimidate or pay someone to vote.

Voters who require assistance in marking a ballot due to disability, blindness or an inability to read or write may receive assistance from a person of the voter’s choice — excluding anyone whose name is on the ballot (or an immediate family member of a person whose name is on the ballot), a poll watcher, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. A person who is of immediate relation to a candidate and still requires assistance may receive it, however.

Where to vote

A primary point of confusion for voters is where to cast their ballots in the General Election, Melancon said.

“People may be voting at a different polling place in the city election than they would in a county election,” she said.

Voters casting ballots in person on June 8 will vote in their ward precincts. These are unchanged from the primary voting locations.

Ward 1 — Bi-Centennial Precinct — Bi-Centennial Building, 200 Main St.

Ward 2 — Alexander Precinct — Alexander Jr. High School Auditorium, 713 Beauregard St.

Ward 3 — Lincoln County Courthouse Precinct — Lincoln County Government Complex, City Board Room, 301 S. First St.

Ward 4 — Brookhaven Elementary Precinct — Brookhaven Elementary School Auditorium, 300 S Church St.

Ward 5 — Brookhaven Recreation Department Precinct — Brookhaven Recreation Department Main Room, 689 Hwy. 51 N.

Ward 6 — Mamie Martin School Precinct — Mamie Martin School, Room A-1, 420 Vivian Merritt St.

Candidates and races

City voters are casting ballots for mayor, chief of police and select aldermen positions.

Mayoral candidates are incumbent Republican Joe C. Cox and Democrat challenger Larry Jointer.

Chief of Police candidates are incumbent Democrat Kenneth Collins and Republican challenger Mike Milholen.

Alderman at Large candidates are Democrat Marilyn Dow-Harris and Republican Don Underwood.

Alderman Ward 3 candidates are Democrat Charles J. Caston Sr. and Republican Troy Douglas.

Alderman Ward 6 candidates are incumbent Independent Shelley Harrigill and Democrat Andre’ Spiller.

The Ward 1 Alderman seat was won by Democrat James Magee Jr. in the Primary Election Runoff.

The Ward 2 Alderman seat was won by incumbent Democrat Shannon Moore in the Primary Election.

The Ward 4 Alderman seat was won by Republican Jeff Henning in the Primary Election Runoff.

The Ward 5 Alderman seat was won by Fletcher Grice in the Primary Election, with no opposition.

Certified results of the General Election will be submitted by the Election Commissioner to the Secretary of State’s Office on June 18, and new or reelected officers will begin their four-year terms on July 1.

For more information on voting rights and methods, visit www.sos.ms.gov/elections-voting.