New Mississippi voters hoping to cast a ballot in the upcoming Aug. 6 primary election have just a few days to complete and return their voter registration applications.

Mississippi’s deadline is Monday at 5 p.m., with Circuit Clerks’ offices also open this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon to accept in-person applications and to receive applications sent by mail, which must have a postmark date of no later than July 8.

August primaries and the November general election will determine positions from the state’s highest of governor to a myriad of countywide races such as sheriff, tax assessor and justice court judges.

The government – whether it’s in Washington, D.C., in Mississippi or in any Northeast Mississippi county – affects your life and by voting, you get to say what’s important to you, and you say it straight to the politicians. Voting is one of the few times when we all have an equal say.

The government is in charge of making important decisions that impact almost every aspect of your life. What happens now has a great effect on the future.

In Lee County, 52,018 residents are registered voters. The CREATE Foundation’s 2019 county demographics report shows Lee County with a population of 85,091. Of those 85,091, approximately 64,500 are categorized as 18 years of age and older.

To those who have not registered in Lee County or any county in Northeast Mississippi, if you think that your opinion doesn’t matter, think again.

Maybe you’ve held off on registering because you’re not interested in politics. Political decisions will be made for you even if you elect not to participate. You still have to pay taxes even if you don’t vote. Elected officials make decisions about your communities even if you don’t vote. So you may as well participate.

Remember: There is power in numbers. When we register and vote and get our family members to do the same, we can impact outcomes and change the debate.

If you don’t vote, you’re letting others decide who wins and what issues matter.

Mississippians who are already registered to vote, but have recently moved or changed their name, must update their registration information in order to cast a ballot in the correct precinct on Primary Election Day.

A downloadable registration application, which should be mailed or delivered to the Circuit Clerk in the county in which the voter resides, is accessible on Y’all Vote, www.yallvote.sos.ms.gov, the Secretary of State’s online voter information center.

For more information about registering to vote for the first time in Mississippi or changing an address or name as a previously-existing active registered Mississippi voter, visit the Secretary of State’s website or call the Elections Division at (601) 576-2550.

If you aren’t a registered voter, you will not have a voice.

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