OUR OPINION: After all the build-up, only the votes count

By NEMS Daily Journal

Years of effort and more than $2 billion in campaign spending culminate today with the presidential and congressional general elections, and in Mississippi it’s conceded Republican nominee Mitt Romney will win by a landslide over President Barack Obama, a Democrat seeking a second term.
The voting nationwide is predicted to be close.
Mississippi’s only other statewide race has incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, seeking a full six-year term, with low-profile, low-budget Democratic opposition from Albert Gore, a retired United Methodist minister and former military chaplain from Starkville. Other, lesser-party candidates also will be on the ballot but far out of the mainstream.
U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, seeks a second term against Democratic opponent Brad Morris, Oxford
In the Mississippi Supreme Court’s northern district a spirited campaign has been waged by two people seeking to replace retiring Justice George C. Carlson Jr., from Batesville.
Attorneys Josiah Coleman of Toccopola and Richard “Flip” Phillips of Batesville seek the seat. Judicial elections are officially non-partisan. The terms are eight years.
Some counties have contested election commission and school board races.
It’s important to remember that voters aren’t required to show voter ID cards. The U.S. Justice Department has not yet approved Mississippi’s proposed photo voter identification law.
Both Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood have emphasized that this means there will not be a voter ID requirement in today’s election.
Voters who believe they have been treated illegally can call state and federal hotlines for assistance:
• U.S. Justice Department, 800-253-3931
• Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office Election Hotline, 800-829-6786
• Mississippi Protection and Advocacy System (for disabled voters), 800-772-4057
Hosemann also issued a caution that “(i)t is against the law for any candidate or candidate’s representative to distribute campaign literature within 150 feet of a polling location … (and) wearing clothing with a candidate’s name and/or picture on it or other campaign paraphernalia within 150 feet of a polling location constitutes the posting of campaign literature and is prohibited.”
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Every vote is important.