Presidential election day approaches

From staff reports

Winston County residents still have time to vote by absentee ballot and many will go to the polls with the rest of the country on Nov. 6.

Absentee voting in Mississippi continues in person at the county clerk’s office until noon Saturday. Mailed absentee ballots must be received in the clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

Military absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says absentee voting is typically a pretty good indicator of voter turnout on Election Day.

He says voters were turning out but not in numbers comparable with the previous presidential election cycle, when nearly 10 percent of the votes cast were absentee.

The November 6 ballot will include the presidential race between democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden versus republican contender Mitt Romney and V.P. contender Paul Ryan.

Down the ballot will be congressional races for the first congressional district with judicial and election commissioners rounding out the ballot.

With redistricting for congressional races, this will be the first time the majority of Winston Countians vote in the First congressional district.

No election commissioners face challengers in the election and will take office in January.

The Winston County Election Ballot For United States President VOTE FOR ONE SLATE OF ELECTIONS ONLY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FOR -Barack Obama for President Democrat and Joe Biden for Vice President PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR -Mitt Romney for President Republican and Paul Ryan for Vice President PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR -Virgil Goode for President Constitution and Jim Clymer for Vice President PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR -Gary Johnson for President Libertarian and James P. Gary for Vice President PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR -Jill Stein for President Green and Cheri Honkala for Vice President PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR -Barbara Dale Washer for President Reform and Cathy L. Toole for Vice President -Write in_ For United States Senate Vote for ONE -Albert N. Gore, Jr. Democrat -Roger F. Wicker Republican -Thomas Cramer Constitution -Shawn O’Hara Reform -Write in_ For US HOUSE of Rep 01 1st congressional District Vote for ONE -Brad Morris Democrat -Alan Nunnelee Republican -Danny Bedwell Libertarian -Jim R. Bourland Constitution -Chris Potts Reform -Write in NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL ELECTION For Supreme Court Justice Supreme Court District 3 (Northern) Position 3 Vote for ONE -Josiah Dennis Coleman Non Partisan -Richard (Flip) PhillipsNon Partisan -Write in For Election Comm-1 Election Commissioner Dist 1 Vote for ONE -Shawn Hendrix Butts Independent -Write In For Election Comm-2 Election Commissioner Dist 2 Vote for ONE -Dell Gillett Democrat -Write in_ For Election Comm-3 Election Commissioner Dist 3 Vote for ONE -Dean Miller Democrat -Write in__ For Election Comm-4 Election Commissioner Dist 4 Vote for ONE -Mattie Cooper Democrat -Write in__ For Election Comm-5 Election Commissioner Dist 5 Vote for ONE -Mary P. Reed Democrat -Write in__

No Voter ID Needed for Nov. 6 General Election Mississippi voters will not need to present a Voter ID or other approved photo identification to cast a ballot in the November 6 General Election.

According to the Secretary’s office, although more than 62 percent of Mississippi voters in November 2011 approved an amendment to the state Constitution requiring voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot, the election law has not yet received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. Therefore, a Voter ID will not be required to vote on November 6, 2012.

More voter information In an effort to ensure as smooth a day as possible for the Nov. 6 general election, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office has put together an online package of information and tips for voters.

The “Vote 2012 Information Center” on the Secretary of State’s website,, includes a sample ballot, information on absentee voting, voter registration forms, an interactive demonstration of voting machines, county election information and a list of frequently asked questions.

“We have posted this … to ensure Mississippians have as much voting information as possible right at their fingertips,” Hosemann said in a release.

Voters will be dealing with a relatively light ballot that includes the presidential race, races in all four of the state’s congressional districts, one of two Senate seats and several judicial posts. Locally, DeSoto County voters also will consider two school board seats and seats on the Election Commission and Levee Board.

In conjunction with the general election, DeSoto County voters also will fill two vacant state legislative seats — the District 19 Senate seat vacated by Republican Merle Flowers of Olive Branch, who stepped down to spend more time with his family, and the District 52 House seat vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Tommy Woods of Byhalia.

For those voting absentee, the deadline to vote in person is noon Saturday at county courthouses, and the information in Hosemann’s online guide explains the process. To vote absentee by mail, ballots must be received in the circuit clerk’s office of each county by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

Mississippi does not have early voting, but absentee voting is available to the elderly, those in the military or anyone who will be away from their voting location on election day.

The online information also includes details on reporting problems or irregularities on election day. Voters may call the elections hotline at 1-800-829-6786 or text “Vote2012” to 601-335-2378 to request contact from an elections representative.

“We believe increased voter education increases voter participation,” Hosemann said. “We hope Mississippians will use our website to learn more about the election process to be prepared for Nov. 6 as well as to make our office more easily accessible to all Mississippi voters on Election Day.”