chosen for pilot program
By SUE WATSON
Countys Election Commission and Circuit Clerk Lucy
Carpenter will have a big impact on the implementation of
the Help America Vote Act in Mississippi, scheduled by
the U.S. Congress to be implemented by 2006 nationwide.
been selected as one of eight to be a pilot county in
implementing this program, according to Lucy Carpenter,
was recently appointed by Secretary of State Eric Clark
to serve on the standards committee for the state-wide
Commissioner Marie Palmer was elected to a second full
term on the Mississippi Association of Election
Commissioners Board of Directors for the 1st
Congressional District. She said it is an honor to serve
on the district board since only one other election
commissioner from Marshall County, Virginia Armour, has
ever been selected to the board.
the big topic at this years annual convention and
certification training meeting in Biloxi in January was
getting the counties ready for compliance with the Help
America Vote Act.
She said the
voting act was passed by Congress as a direct result of
the 1999 Presidential Election controversy in Florida.
the provisions of the act will take place in a
step-at-a-time fashion, Palmer said.
will get to work on the state-wide voter registry
first, she said.
system is set up, the voter rolls of every county will be
on the state-wide registry making it possible to prevent
voters from voting more than once in an election. What
the system will do is keep track of voters who move and
register in another county. It essentially eliminates the
potential for a voter to be listed as an active voter in
more than one place at one time.
will help us clean up the voter rolls, she said.
clerks are very excited about having a state-wide sytem
of handling voter registration on a computerized network.
The system will be more efficient for election
commissioners and more accurate, and pevent a lot of
potential voter fraud, Palmer said.
standards for voting equipment mandated by Congress are
also being studied and revised to meet the new
just real excited about it, said Palmer. We
will be able to scan applications and have a voter
signature on file.
said the eight circuit clerks selected by Eric Clark to
review standards have met twice to familiarize themselves
with the standards review and implementation process.
has secured a contractor to help study the Congressional
requirements and spell out what is in the law, Carpenter
standards committee will critique the work of the
contractor to make sure the requirements of law are met,
including common everyday things that must be done.
training of election commissioners and circuit clerks
across the state to use the state-wide computer system
for voter registration maintenance will be important.
plan is to implement this program in the eight counties
and use it to be sure the bugs are worked out,
Carpenter said. Then we will select 10 other
counties to train at a time. It is worked out that
everything will be in place by the end of the year.
said the computer program used by the secretary of state
and circuit clerks will track a number of things besides
voter registration. Campaign finance information will be
tracked. The system will also prepare the local ballots
quicker and place them on the Internet for the public.
public will be able to check the ballot and access all of
the data including the state-wide voter registry,
system will also do much of the cross checking that has
up until now been done manually by election commissioners
and circuit clerks.
independent candidate or group of petitioners submits a
list of names on a petition, the computer system will
cross check the signatures. The system will also cross
check signatures on affidavit envelopes with voters
signatures on their applications - thereby assisting
commissioners in certifying the vote.
you enter a petition, if two or three petitions are
circulating, it catches the names of anyone who has
signed more than once, Carpenter said. This
will narrow it down and the computer will compare the
signatures on a petition with the voter signature. It
will eliminate a lot of work for us and make our work
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