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Deadline near for voters to register

September 16, 2010

The Nov. 2 general election is still more than six weeks away, but those who need to register to vote only have two more weeks do so to be registered in time to legally cast a ballot.
Voters may register at the Circuit Clerk’s Office in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Annex 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 1. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 2 for a final registration opportunity.
State law mandates that voters be registered at least 30 days prior to an election.
“This office is once again recognizing September as ‘Voter Awareness Month.’ Residents who have recently moved to the county and are not registered voters have until Oct. 2 at noon to register in the clerk’s office or one can obtain a mail-in voter registration form and will be registered using this form as long as it is postmarked to our office by Oct. 2,” said Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis.
Those voters needing to update their registration information for a name or address change are also encouraged also do so at the Circuit Clerk’s Office by Oct. 2, McGinnis said.
“Since we live in a time when technology is the name of the game, one sometimes assumes that if they change their address at the post office, tax office or other places that this also affects their voter registration record but this is not the case so add your voter registration to the list of things to be done when you have a move or a name change,” McGinnis said.
Numerous groups have asked about conducting voter registration drives in recent weeks, McGinnis said. All forms must be turned in by Oct. 2, she said.
“We have had a lot of inquiries from different groups about voter registration drives and we have referred them to http://www.oktibbehacountyms.org where they can follow the links to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website to obtain copies of mail in voter registration forms and other important information regarding elections,” said McGinnis.
On the ballot locally are two races (District 2 and At-Large) for the Oktibbeha County School District Board of Trustees, as well as those Circuit Court and Chancery Court judge and for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Because only a few races are on the ballot, voter turnout is traditionally slim across the county, McGinnis said. The June 1 primary elections — in which only 546 of the county’s 24,825 active registered voters went to the poll — is a prime example, McGinnis said.
“I would like to see Oktibbeha County break that low voter turnout record and show the rest of the state we care about all elections,” McGinnis said.
“After all your tax dollars do pay for elections, so why not have a voice in the outcome? Become aware of all that is involved in the upcoming election.”
The ballot for the Nov. 2 general election is still being finalized at the state level, so absentee ballots will be ordered as soon as election officials in the Secretary of State’s Office finish making final modifications, McGinnis said.
An announcement will be made when absentee voting can begin, McGinnis said.
For more information on this year’s election, the Circuit Clerk’s Office may be reached by calling 323-1356 during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday to Friday.

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