Registration issues cause voter confusion - - Jackson, MS

Rankin County, MS 10/16/08

Registration issues cause voter confusion

By Kandiss Crone - bio | email

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The Rankin County Circuit Clerk's office has received numerous complaints from voters who have not received their voter cards.

Just weeks before the 2008 presidential election, Brandon resident and WLBT employee Ashley Butler learned she was not registered to vote.

"I was in tears.  I was actually in tears," Butler said.

Butler says she registered back in February when she renewed her license at the Mississippi Highway Patrol office.

She showed us a copy of the form where she checked the "yes" box for voter registration. Butler took the form to the Rankin County Circuit Clerk's office hoping they would put her on the voter rolls.

"They then told me just because I responded 'yes' does not mean I'm registered to vote.  I should have filled out some sort of paperwork," Butler said.

Butler says the worker who renewed her license said she didn't need to fill out any forms.

A spokesperson for MHP says registration forms are submitted electronically to the Secretary of State's office.

In a phone interview, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said, "If a circuit clerk does not show a voter is registered, the clerk must contact the Secretary of State's office.  Our office then confirms with DPS that the voter requested to be registered.  Secretary of State's office then notifies the clerk to put the voter on the poll books for the next election."

Hosemann says those voters may cast their ballot this November using an affadavit ballot.

Officials could not confirm why Butler's information was not submitted to the Rankin County Circuit Clerk.

Butler recommends filling out the registration form even if it's not required.

"Anyone who wants to register to vote, present them with that application so that something like this, especially in this historic election and someone young who wants to vote that they will be able to vote, and this situation won't come up again.

The Madison County Circuit Clerk received two complaints similar to Butler's.  No reports yet from Hinds County.

If you think you're registered to vote but have not received a voter card, check with your circuit clerk immediately.

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