From the president of the United States to the Mississippi flag, November’s general election will give voters the opportunity to make their choices count. To participate, though, people must be registered to vote, and the deadline to do so is Oct. 5.
People must be 18 before or on Election Day, which is Nov. 3.
“You can be 17 and turn 18 on Nov. 1 and still register to vote,” said Monroe County Circuit Clerk Dana Sloan.
People may register to vote at Sloan’s office at the Monroe County Courthouse, located at 301 S. Chestnut St. in Aberdeen.
“If you think you have registered to vote while getting your driver’s license or at another state agency or even by mail and you have not received a voter’s registration card in the mail from your circuit clerk’s office, please call our office before Oct. 5 to make sure that we do in fact have you as a registered voter. It seems during every election we have someone who thinks they registered or changed their address to only find out when they get to the polls that we do not have them as a registered voter.
“Also, if you have had a problem at your voting precinct in the past and had to vote an affidavit ballot, you should have received a new voter registration card in the mail from our office. If you have not received a new card, please call our office to make sure that your issue has been resolved. If you have an issue at the polls one time and don’t follow up to get your information correct, chances are you will have that same issue again,” Sloan said.
Items on the ballot include the president/vice president race; the state flag; Initiative 65, dealing with the potential legalization of medical marijuana; seats on the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and Mississippi Supreme Court; and Monroe County Election Commissioners positions.
The only local school board race Monroe County voters will participate in will be for a seat on the Amory School Board. There is also a seat on the Nettleton School Board, but only Lee County voters will participate.
Absentee voting for the general election begins Sept. 21, and the circuit clerk’s office will be open Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. until noon and Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for in-office voting, in addition to normal business hours on weekdays.
“Absentees are now the final vote. A voter can no longer vote absentee and decide later to go to the polls and vote and have their absentee rejected,” Sloan said.
Due to COVID-19, there will be extra safety measures in place at voting precincts, including a table with hand sanitizer and masks, Q-tips used to mark boxes on the TSX voting machines, sneeze guards, social distancing markers and regular cleaning of equipment.