By Alyssa Schnugg
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office expects a large number of people to be casting their vote for the November general election via absentee voting, whether in person or through the mail.
Monday was the first day for absentee voting in person in Mississippi.
Circuit Court Clerk Jeff Busby said it was a busy first day for his office.
“We had about 30 people waiting at the door when we got here (this morning),” Busby said Monday evening.
Anyone 65 years and older can vote absentee in person at the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
Those who are under 65 can vote absentee if they will be out of town on election day, are working during voting times, or is temporarily or permanently disabled, or a caretaker of someone who is disabled. Temporarily disables now includes those who are under a physician-imposed quarantine due to COVID-19 or someone caring for a dependent who is under a physician-imposed quarantine.
The deadline to vote in person via absentee ballot is Oct. 31. The Lafayette County Circut Court Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be open 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 3 and 25 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.
Those who wish to mail in their absentee ballot must be 65 years or older, temporarily residing outside of their county of residence, or temporarily or permanently physically disabled or their caretaker. This also includes those under a physician-imposed quarantine due to COVID-19 and caretakers of such individuals.
Mail-in absentee ballots may be received up to five business days after the election if the envelope is postmarked on or before the date of the election.
Absentee voting is encouraged this year due to the expectation of a large voter turnout that may create long lines and large groups waiting to vote and social distancing requirements at the polls.
Each poll manager will be equipped with masks, gloves and face shields. Hand sanitizer and single-use pens and/or styluses will be available for all voters. Additionally, a limited number of masks will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis for voters who do not have their own.
What’s on the ballot
Other than the presidential election and the race for the U.S. Senate, Lafayette County voters will also be voting for other elected officials for local and statewide positions, the implementation of a medical marijuana program, and whether the new design selected by the Flag Commission should fly over Mississippi as its state flag.
Local elections include Lafayette County School Board members for districts 1 and 5; the central district constable and five election commissioners. Statewide elections House of Representatives First Congressional District race and MS Supreme Court District 3 race.
View the entire sample ballot below.
Read the Mississippi Secretary of State’s guide to elections here: https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/Covid-19-Elections.aspx.