Circuit Clerk's office prepares for special election

The Oktibbeha County Circuit Court (courtesy)
By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

As the Nov. 7 special election approaches, the Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk's office is preparing for election day.

Interim Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said one of the most common mistakes people make on election day is going to the wrong poll in their precinct.

McGinnis said often times residents will register with their new address, but not realize because of the change, they now have a new polling location.

To find which precinct residents belong in, residents can call either the Circuit Clerk's office or go to the Mississippi Secretary of State's website, find the link for the poll locater, and it will provide the right precinct.

Another common problem residents run into on election day is finding transportation to the polls. McGinnis said to try and plan ahead of time for rides by talking to neighbors, friends and members within their church. She said to even contact the leaders of their perspective parties if problems do occur.

"Even though this is not a primary election, normally both of the parties will set up rides for people to get to the polls," McGinnis said.

McGinnis said the office is already preparing for election day through training sessions, which will be held next week. During these sessions, poll workers will be following a manual provided by the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office and also implement a few guidelines for the citizens of Oktibbeha County.

"If it's an easier day for the poll workers then it's going to be a much better day for the people that are coming in to vote," McGinnis said.

At the polls, McGinnis said there is usually a poll manager, initialing manager who will initial provisional and affidavit ballots and a bailiff to keep the peace. She said at bigger precincts there is often an additional bailiff to help operations.

"They will direct people to the machines or make sure the voter access cards get returned to the table so they can be coded for the next voter that's in line," McGinnis said. "If a person came in and they still weren't sure about voting, the overall bailiff can direct them to the sample ballot."

McGinnis said there are some restrictions when at the polls. For example, people voting are prohibited from wearing any t-shirts or other memorabilia supporting a candidate. Although phones are not restricted, she said the use of phones is frowned upon.

"You don't want to be in there with your cell phone taking a personal call," McGinnis said. "The machine is going to time out for one thing if you just stand there and don't vote."

In the past, McGinnis said poll workers have noticed people bringing several residents, who were elderly, to cast their vote and were "prompted" to say they need assistance and name the person who brought them. McGinnis said there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance when needed, but poll workers will be on the look out to protect voters.

"We do need to be careful that we are not allowing our citizens to be taken advantage of as far as the assistance and voting is concerned," McGinnis said. "We are going to be inquiring of you as to what's your reason for assistance."

In the event of a run off election, all poll stations and times will remain the same.

Although McGinnis cannot predict election results and hopes the final decisions are made on Nov. 7, but she does expect a run off election. If necessary, the run off election will take place on Nov. 28.

"With five people vying for circuit clerk and six people vying for chancery clerk, it's very unlikely that one person will pull that 50 percent plus one with the votes being spread out all across the county." McGinnis said.

POLLING STATIONS

District 1
• West Starkville (WS) - National Guard Armory
• North Longview (NL) - Longview Fire Station
• South Adaton (SA) - Adaton Baptist Church
• Self Creek/Double Spring (SD) - Fire Station Turner Rd

District 2
• Hickory Grove/Southeast (HE) - East Oktibbeha Fire Station
• North Starkville II (N2) - Mt. Pelier Church
• Osborn (OS) - 16 Section Baptist Life Center

District 3
• Bell School House (BS) - Bell School House Fire Station
• Center Grove/North Adaton (CA) - Adaton Fire Station
• East Starkville (ES) - Humphries Coliseum
• Maben (MA) - Maben Fire Station
• North Starkville III - Fire Station

District 4
• South Starkville (SS) - Sportsplex
• South Longview (SL) - Longview Fire Station
• Craig Springs/South Bradley (CB) - Craig Springs Fire Station
• Sturgis/North Bradley (SB) - Sturgis Fire Station

District 5
• Central Starkville (CE) - Circuit Court Complex
• Needmore (NM) - Needmore Center
• Oktoc (OK) - Oktoc Fire Station
• Sessums (SM) - Sessums Fire Station

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