Circuit Clerk urges awareness of voter status ahead of election

Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Tony Rook
Ryan Phillips
SDN Editor

General Election Day is coming up on Nov. 6 and local election officials are urging awareness among everyone eligible to cast a ballot this fall.

Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Tony Rook said it is important for everyone looking to register to vote to be aware that they must register within 30 days of the election and must update their address information if they have moved residencies since the last election.

“They don’t need to wait,” Rook said. “We encourage individuals who want to register to do it sooner rather than (on the last day).”

The General Election ballot will see races for both U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, along with judicial offices.

Rook then said potential voters can register one of two ways: In person at the Circuit Clerks office, or online through the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, the latter of which Rook views as the easiest method.
To register online, first visit

“When you go there, you will notice a ‘Ya’ll Vote’ heading and when you click on that heading, it takes you to all your voting information and gives you an option to update name and address.”

Apart from not being able to cast a ballot, Rook also alluded to other reasons why it is crucial to stay on top of one’s voter status.

“You want to make sure you’re voting for the proper candidate in your district and you want to ensure you’re voting at the correct polling location,” Rook said. “It will eliminate a great deal or reduce the possibility of voting by affidavit, what that would do would be minimize the possibility of a rejected ballot.”

He also said confirming voter status or registering in a timely fashion will ensure that the individual receives any jury summons that may be issued by the Circuit Clerk’s office.

What’s more, those who are summoned and fail to respond may be ordered by the court to show cause or failure to comply with the summons, which could result in a maximum fine of $500, three days in jail or community service.

“Another reason it’s so important for jurors to appear, if you fail to appear on jury summons, it triggers a process where the voters status will be changed to inactive and they will be removed from the poll book,” Rook said. “If their address is not corrected, they can eventually be removed from voter rolls. That’s why they need to ensure their address information.”

To contact the Circuit Clerks office, call (662) 323-1356 or email Rook at or Election Deputy Clerk Sheryl Elmore at