3Qs: Joyce Loftin, Lee County circuit clerk

By NEMS Daily Journal

In each county, the circuit clerk is the local registrar of voters. The office also assists political parties with primary elections and oversees general elections. The Daily Journal’s Patsy Brumfield posed these questions to Lee County Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin about Tuesday’s primary vote.
Q: WHAT IS your biggest concern about Tuesday’s party primaries?
A: MY BIGGEST CONCERN is about voters who don’t understand about the party primary elections. They must choose to vote on a Democratic or Republican party ballot. They cannot vote for some candidates in one party and others in another.
Q: HOW WILL YOU HELP voters avoid being confused about which ballot they want?
A: WE’LL HAVE SAMPLE BALLOTS at every precinct. That way, before a voter comes in and registers with one party or another, the voter can look at the different ballots and be confident about which one he or she wants.
Q: ARE THER ANY MISCONCEPTIONS you can clear up ahead of time?
A: YES, MANY PEOPLE THINK Mississippi registers voters by political party. We do not. In Tuesday’s primary, you can vote either way – you just can vote in only one party. You’ll also have to stick with that party if you want to vote in the Aug. 23 runoff. But in the November general election, there will be only one ballot and you can pick and choose any way you like.
One other thing, some people worry that if they are interested in just one race that they’ve got to vote for all the offices on that ballot. They don’t. All they have to do is vote for the candidate they’re interested in, slide the ballot into the machine and their vote is counted.