Circuit clerk gives election update
by Chance Wright
Sep 20, 2012 | 1527 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a few weeks Americans will make their way to the polls to cast their vote in what is shaping out to be one of the most important elections in recent history.

Bolivar County Circuit Clerk Marilyn Kelly said the public needs to understand the difference between the Primary Elections that were held this summer and the election coming up in November.

"The November election will be the decisive election where candidates will actually be elected by the people," explained Kelly. "The elections held this summer were primaries in which candidates were nominated by their perspective parties and those individuals will now face-off for the final election.

"In November, voters will not have to declare their party affiliation in the General Election," she said.

The Nov. 6 election is not only important to Americans voting for a president to lead the country, it is also important locally here in Bolivar County because residents will have the final say in who will represent them on the county's Election Commission and local school districts' board of trustees.

The Election Commission oversees the conduct of all general and special elections as well as the maintenance of the voter roll in Bolivar County.

"All of the Bolivar County Election Commissioners are running again with the exception of long-time commissioner Victor Baioni, who recently decided to withdraw from the race," said Kelly. "His term will automatically expire on Dec. 31."

Running in his district, which is District 5, is one candidate, Lisa Regan.

Candidates running in other districts for the Election Commission are: David Washington, District one; Debbie Duncan, District two; Shelia Perry, District three; and Yvonne Hannah, District four.

Because no one else met the qualifying deadline, each candidate is running unopposed.

The regular school board seats up for election this year include West Bolivar, sub district five; Benoit, sub district four; Cleveland, sub district two; Shaw, sub district five; North Bolivar, sub district five; and Mound Bayou sub district one.

"Only the Shaw, sub district five, will be included on the November ballot," added Kelly. "This is attributed to more than one candidate qualifying for the race."

The candidates vying for the seat on the Shaw board are Leon McNeal, incumbent; Carolyn Williams; and Georgia Ballard.

All other sub districts of local school boards will not be on the Nov. ballot due to either no opposition or other disqualifying reasons.

Prior to voting at the polls, residents must be registered through Kelly's office.

She is informing the public that the Bolivar County Circuit Court's office will be open on Oct. 6 from 8 a.m. until noon as a service to voters across the county.

"Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote or update the address on your voting record," said Kelly. "But we would like to encourage everyone to come in and register prior to that date."

Another voting topic that is constantly raising questions is Voter ID.

In last November's election, the voters of Mississippi passed a Voter ID initiative.

However, the U.S. Department of Justice has not approved the implementation of the initiative.

"Mississippi has always required first-time registrants who failed to register with the Circuit Clerk's Office to show picture identification at the polls," Kelly added. "These people will be the only ones who are required by law to show a picture ID.

"Residents who have already taken the necessary steps to register with this office will not be required to show identification at the polls this year."

For more questions concerning the upcoming elections or to register to vote, contact the Bolivar County Circuit Clerk's Office at 843-2061.

Anyone who has recently registered to vote and has not received a Voter Registration Card in the mail is also urged to call the office.