No issues expected for Tuesday primary
by Paisley Boston
May 29, 2014 | 2270 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Primary Election is rapidly approaching and the Bolivar County Election Commission is preparing for voters.

The implementation of the voter identification law has led to a large amount of state involvement with the upcoming primary election.

District Two Election Commissioner Debbie Duncan said the commission does not expect any major issues during the primary election.

"The first training session was Tuesday night in Rosedale. We had the second one on Wednesday. Our training sessions are very informative. The state has sent some very important material that must be extensively reviewed by all members of the election commission before the day of election," said Duncan.

"The most important information is that we must be well knowledgeable about this new voter identification law and its requirements," she added.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, beginning with the June 3, 2014, Primary Election, all Mississippians voting at the polls will be required to show a photo identification card. 

Also, individuals voting in person by absentee ballot in person in the Circuit Clerk's office prior to the June 3 Primary Election Day will be required to show a photo ID.

Eligible voters casting an absentee ballot by mail for the Primary Election on June 3 do not have to show a photo ID.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, voter identification laws are a result of more than 62 percent of Mississippi voters approving a citizen-initiated Constitutional Amendment on Nov. 8, 2011, which requires eligible voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot in person at the polls or in a Circuit Clerk's office.

"We want the public to be aware of what can be use for identification and what cannot be used. Hopefully we have all of this covered – we are counting on a smooth election. This is small election and it will get us and citizens accustomed to how things will go from now on," said Duncan.

She said in the past the election commission has encountered problems with names. People would come to vote but because they had moved, they were no longer listed in that particular precinct and they had to be directed to the right location.

"We also had problems with having a large number of avadavat ballots but these issues have improve. In my opinion, this was one of the largest issues that we have had. Every once in a while we have minor issues that involve computer issues," she added.

"I do not think we will have a large amount of problems at the pole. The new voter identification law is something that we all have to get used. The state has pretty taken care of all of the hard work," she continued.

An elector who votes in person in a primary or general election shall present government-issued photo identification before being allowed to vote.

Voters who live and vote in a state-licensed care facility are exempt.

Beginning with Elections held in the State of Mississippi occurring on or after June 3, 2014, each qualified elector, who is not exempt from these requirements and who appears in person to vote by absentee ballot in the Office or Municipal Clerk Office, or who appears to vote at his or her polling place on an election day, must identify himself or herself.

"I believe poll workers have been properly trained and are prepared for this upcoming election. Of course, there may be a few problems but hopefully with the information that we receive from the state, we will be able to assist them. We will also have contact numbers if any problems occur," said Duncan.

"We want voters to know that if they come to the polls, they must have proper identification. Even if a poll worker knows you personally, it is still required that you present identification. We strongly encourage everyone to come out and vote because this is your voice. Voting is a right and everyone should take advantage of it because it is so important," she added.

"We really do not expect to have any major issues but there is always room for human error," said Duncan.