By Alyssa Schnugg
Hotty Toddy News will be running stories about local candidates in the upcoming Nov. 3 election throughout the rest of the week. Today we focus on Election Commission races for District 3 and 4. District 1, 2, and 5 are unopposed. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order for fairness.
In District 4 of Lafayette County, Laura Antonow and Tony Halcin will be facing off Nov. 3 to hold the District 4 election commission seat currently held by Jim Stephens, who is not seeking re-election.
Election Commissioners are responsible for running elections in Lafayette County, whether they are local elections and referendums, or presidential elections. They are elected every four years by the citizens of Lafayette County.
Duties include checking voters’ identification when they vote, assisting in voter registration, testing of voting machines and assisting the Circuit Court Clerk on election days with absentee and affidavit votes.
One of the most important duties of the Election Commissioners is maintaining accurate voter rolls and poll books.
District 4 includes Burgess, Anchor-Taylor, Union West and Harmontown.
Antonow said she decided to run to help ensure voter access and elections remain fair. She has worked as a poll watcher in local, state and national elections for several years.
“Election Day is always exciting and inspiring,” he said. “Each time I serve, I learn more about the voting process, the Mississippi Election Code, and how elections operate here in Lafayette County. Running for Election Commissioner seems like a great way to serve the voters of my home county and district.”
Antonow has participated in local voter registration drives and has organized and trained poll watchers for elections in Lafayette County.
“I’m running as an Independent in the spirit of my non-partisan approach to service in this position and am committed to increased voter registration and participation, equitable access to the polls, fair elections and accurate voter rolls,” she said. “The job of Election Commissioner is very important work that must be handled professionally and ethically, and I will work to ensure that the ballots of all voters in Lafayette County District 4 count in all elections.”
Halcin said he believes there is no better way to strengthen our society than working to ensure free and fair elections, with participation from all parts of society.
“As a businessman in my 30s, I see the deep importance of civic involvement in our community,” he said.
Halcin served in the U.S. Navy and is currently a real estate agent. He said his military background has given him a “can-do attitude.”
“I know that with the use of technology and implementing efficient processes along the way, I will be able to be the most effective person for this position at this time for the great citizens of the Lafayette County,” he said.
“As a real estate agent, continued education is vital for growth. I will take that importance and transfer the emphasis toward all aspects of this job. Last but not least, the importance of auditing the voter rolls must be visited frequently.”