Some voters respond to approaching deadline

BY LENA MITCHELL

Daily Journal

People who still want to register to vote in the Nov. 4 general election are getting help from area circuit clerk offices with extended hours this week, but few clerks expect heavy traffic.

Some counties report heavier registrations since the Aug. 5 primaries. This weekend is the deadline to register for the election, if you aren't already registered.

“We've had several plants having voter registration drives, and they've been bringing or mailing forms into us, so we've had a big increase in registrations,” said Judy Butler of Monroe County.

Union County is one that will have extended hours for registration.

“To me that's unusual, for plants to have voter registration drives,” said Union County's Billy Stanford. “I haven't seen that before, but the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in both walk-in and mail-in” registrations.

Moderate traffic

Other Northeast Mississippi counties have had moderate traffic from new voters.

“I imagine we've registered maybe 100 since the primary, but that's about normal,” Bud Green said. Green is Prentiss County's circuit clerk, and he's not a strong supporter of the motor-voter law that gives eligible voters a number of places where they can apply to register.

“It's my feeling that if they don't come in to register, they're not going to go vote,” Green said. “Voting is about the only free thing we have left.”

Mail-in registrations have boosted activity in Itawamba County since the primary, said Circuit Clerk Carol Gates, while in Tippah County mail-in forms have increased registrations throughout the year, Circuit Clerk James Dees said.

“Registrations since the primary have been about normal, about 10 to 15 people registered,” Dees said.

Joyce Loftin, Lee County's circuit clerk, said late last week that registration had picked up in her office. But that hasn't been the case in Chickasaw and Pontotoc counties.

For the most part, registration activity has been quiet in Chickasaw County, according to Circuit Clerk Sandra Willis.

“We may have had just a small increase. It's been through supervisor candidates taking (forms) out and pushing (registration) when they go out campaigning,” said Pontotoc County's Tracy Robinson.