Patience required of voters and workers for elections - - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 11/03/08

Patience required of voters and workers for elections

By Monica Hernandez - bio | email

HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - "This is by far the busiest I've ever seen it in 35 years."

As the Hinds County Circuit Clerk, Barbara Dunn and everyone else who works in her office has been working day and night to prepare for this year's presidential election. With $190,000 new registrants in the state of Mississippi, the phones have been ringing off the hook with election questions.

"What are people calling in about?", I asked.

"Where do I vote? Where is it located? Am I on the rolls?", Dunn replied.

So we set out to find what you need to know before election day. Like who needs to bring an I.D. to the polls.

 "If you're a first-time mail-in registrant, and you didn't send us a picture of your driver's license, for example, then you need to bring an I.D. with you," said Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann.

Any photo I.D., utility bill, paycheck, or government document showing your name and address will work. And officials expect a record turn-out.

"First thing in the morning, with so many people stopping, you may have to wait an hour or more," added Dunn. 

"Anybody that can avoid the hours of 7- 9a.m. or 5-7p.m. is probably going to vote quicker, so if you can schedule some off-period at work, or opt to start a little bit differently, I'd encourage you to do that," said Hosemann.

And you should note that the deadline to walk into your circuit clerk's office and cast an absentee vote was Saturday at noon.

"They cannot come in the office today and legally vote a ballot. Mail ends today at 5 p.m. except in the Presidential election. It can end as late as 7:00 p.m. on election night," said Dunn.

And election officials have this bit of advice as well. "We're asking everyone to review the ballot, take time to review the ballot, don't get there and say, who's running for Supreme Court," added Hosemann.

 "Patience. That's what they need to have. And we do too. It'll be a long day for everyone," said Hinds County Election Commission, Connie Cochran.

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