2 weeks left for absentee voting
by Emily Peacock
Oct 21, 2011 | 891 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the deadline for Bolivar Countians to vote absentee roughly two weeks away, Bolivar County Circuit Clerk Marilyn Kelly wants to remind qualifying electors to vote.

“We are in the midst of our peak time for absenteeing,” said Kelly. “Right now, we have just under 100 people voting absentee.”

According to Kelly, the last day to vote absentee is on Nov. 5.

“The circuit clerk’s office will be open that Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon,” she said. “Voters may come by the office or call us to request an absentee ballot.”

Voters may vote absentee if they are a registered elector who will be absent from their county of residence on Election Day.

Also eligible to vote absentee include any enlisted or commissioned members of the U.S. armed forces who are citizens of Mississippi, anyone with a temporary or permanent disability, anyone 65 years of age or older and an individual who is required to be away from their county of residence on election day due to work engagements.

According to Kelly, the typical time frame to vote absentee usually begins 45 days prior to the election, and individuals have that time to request a ballot and vote absentee.

Earlier this week, the secretary of state’s office confirmed that some counties will have to reprint paper ballots or add inserts because the wording sent out by the office lacked some key information regarding the cost to taxpayers for each of the ballot initiatives.

“The circuit clerk’s office and the election commissioners were notified earlier this week of this oversight,” said Kelly. “The secretary of state’s office contacted the county about the language that was omitted from the state ballot. We had quite a few absentee voters that were not given an opportunity to read the added language, but their vote will still count.

“Our printer had not started printing off the paper ballots yet, so this doesn’t affect Bolivar County. We were fortunate, because this may delay other counties.”

She added the secretary of state’s office is in the process of correcting and redistributing the ballots and they will pay to reprint the ballots.

“The entire process of correcting the ballots was projected to only take a couple of days so our paper ballots may be ready to be printed today,” she said. “This will not affect anyone’s vote. The secretary of state’s office just wants to be sure that every voter has an opportunity to read the added language.”

For the personhood and eminent domain initiatives, there is no cost to taxpayers, so the additional language will read: “There is no determinable cost or revenue impact associated with this initiative.”

However, for the voter ID initiative, the additional wording will read, “Based on Fiscal Year 2010 information, the Department of Public Safety issued 107,094 photo IDs to U.S. citizens of voting age. The individuals were assessed $14 per ID to offsest a portion of the $17.92 cost per ID. The cost is estimated to remain the same, but the assessment will no longer be allowable under the provision of Initiative 27 (voter ID). Therefore, the Department of Public Safety is estimated to see a loss of revenue of approximately $1,499,000.”