Thursday, October 6, 2011
Deadline to register is Saturday
By SUE WATSON
The deadline to register to vote in the November 8 general election is this Saturday, Oct. 8, at noon in the Marshall County circuit clerk’s office, according to Lucy Carpenter.
Anyone not registered to vote must meet this deadline if they expect to vote in the general election in November, Carpenter said. An individual who is not registered, however, may register to vote at the circuit clerk’s office during regular office hours for future elections beyond the November general election.
Absentee balloting is already available for anyone who will be out of town November 8. This includes students, military families, and those who will be traveling. Absentee ballots may be cast in the circuit clerk’s office for those who qualify, or a voter can request a ballot be mailed to their address. In the case of voting absentee by mail, the ballot must arrive in the circuit clerk’s office by 5 p.m. November 7, in order to be counted, Carpenter said.
Anyone who is disabled, who is temporarily living out of the county on election day, or who is 65 years of age and older may request a mail-out ballot.
The circuit clerk’s office will be open Saturday, October 29, and Saturday, November 5, for absentee voting in person.
Initiatives on ballot
There is a referendum on three initiatives that will appear on the November 8 ballot.
Initiative #26 – Should the term “person” be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof? This initiative is often referred to as “the right to life.”
Initiative #27 – Should the Mississippi Constitution be amended to require a person to submit government-issued photo identification in order to vote? Voter Identification would be required to vote at the polling precincts, but not to register to vote.
Initiative #31 – Should government be prohibited from taking private property by eminent domain and then transferring it to other persons? The proposed initiative is a provision for eminent domain reform – which has been enacted by 43 states.
A vote for Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word “person” or “persons” as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.
A vote for Initiative #27 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to require voters to submit a government-issued photo identification before being allowed to vote. It provides that any voter lacking government issued photo identification may obtain identification without charge from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. It exempts certain residents of state-licensed care facilities and religious objectors from being required to show photo identification in order to vote.
A vote for Initiative #31 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to prohibit state and local government from taking private property by eminent domain and then conveying it to other persons or private businesses for a period of 10 years after acquisition. Exceptions from the prohibition include drainage and levee facilities, roads, bridges, ports, airports, common carriers, and utilities. The prohibition would not apply to certain situations, including public nuisance, structures unfit for human habitation, or abandoned property.
To read more about the pros and cons of these initiatives, pick up a copy of the brochures at the circuit clerk’s office or visit www.sos.ms.gov/elections/initiatives. Any questions may be directed to the Elections Hotline – 1-800-829-6786.
Political races on the ballot in November include state races like governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, commissioner of agriculture, and commissioner of insurance, plus Northern District public service commissioner, Northern District transportation commissioner, State Senate District 2; State House of Representatives District 13 and a county race, Supervisor District 3.
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