By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – Circuit Clerk Melinda Nowicki says she’s not sure why her county was cited this week as missing a deadline to get ballots to overseas military when she hasn’t had any applicants.
“As we get requests, we mail them,” Nowicki said Friday afternoon. “It’s just we haven’t gotten any from overseas.”
She said her office, though, has mailed out several absentee ballots to service members within the U.S.
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann cited Pontotoc, Hinds and Jeff Davis counties as missing a deadline for overseas ballots.
Hosemann, a Republican, is asking for the extension to the deadline after GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign sent letters to Mississippi, Wisconsin and Vermont election officials asking for an extension of time because of problems.
The Romney campaign a week ago raised concerns over Hinds County missing the Sept. 22 deadline to transmit absentee ballots to service members overseas. County officials said they corrected the problem the next week by contacting service members and getting them to agree to online voting. They said soldiers were voting this week.
But Romney officials on Monday said they still had reports of Mississippi military overseas having problems casting their votes.
In Pontotoc County, Nowicki said all this just doesn’t pertain to her county and she’s a little baffled at the dust-up from Jackson.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, Hosemann’s office refused to comment on the military ballot issue Monday but on Tuesday he issued a written statement saying he had drafted an emergency administrative rule to extend the deadline beyond the current Nov. 9 for military ballots for the Nov. 6 election.
He promised to ask the Department of Justice for expedited approval of an extension.
In Hinds County, problems also were reported with nonmilitary absentee ballots. As of Thursday afternoon, county officials reported, absentee ballots were still not available for voters.
Sept. 22 also was the deadline for those to be available.