Friday afternoon deadline to register to vote Nov. 2

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 1, 2004

[9/30/04]The Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office is seeing a normal rush to register in advance of the deadline for this year’s general election.

The circuit clerk’s office will continue registering new voters and accepting address-change requests from registered voters daily until 5 p.m. Friday.

Voters in Claiborne, Sharkey and Issaquena counties will have until noon Saturday to register to vote. Circuit clerks’ offices there will be open from 8 a.m. until noon.

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Area counties’ circuit clerks’ offices will be open extended hours the rest of this week, with those in Sharkey and Claiborne staying open until 7 p.m. and the Issaquena County office until about 6 p.m.

In Madison Parish, the deadline to register to vote will be Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the clerk of court’s office, county registrar Bettye Moore said.

About 30 new voters a day had been registering at the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office for about the past 10 days, about normal for a year in which voters will vote for president, deputy clerks there said Wednesday. The county has about 33,000 registered voters.

The general election is set for Nov. 2. In addition to presidential candidates, Mississippi voters will see on their ballots candidates for U.S. Representative, state Supreme Court, county election commissioner, some school-board members and a constitutional amendment providing in part “that marriage may take place and may be valid under the laws of this state only between a man and a woman.”

In-person absentee voting in Mississippi has begun and will continue during regular weekday hours and from 8 a.m. until noon on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, the two Saturdays before the election. The Sharkey County Circuit Clerk’s Office also plans to remain open for absentee voting until 7 p.m. the week before the election.

The deadline to visit the office to cast absentee ballots in Mississippi is noon Oct. 30.

“Ballots cannot be picked up,” Warren County Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree said, adding that absentee voters must either vote in-person or have ballots mailed to them and return them by mail.

Every request for an absentee ballot by mail must be made by either a registered voter or a member of his immediate family, Ashley-Palmertree said. That means spouses or children of registered voters may request ballots by mail but, for example, caretakers and friends may not, she added.

Ballots sent to voters by mail must be received back in circuit clerks’ offices by 5 p.m. Nov. 1 to be counted.

“Usually the week before the election is cutting it real close,” Ashley-Palmertree said of the time that must be allowed from the request of a ballot by mail to its return.

In-person absentee balloting in Madison Parish will take place during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., from Oct. 21 until Oct. 26, including Oct. 23, Moore said.

The deadline for Madison Parish officials to receive absentee ballots by mail is 4:30 p.m. Nov. 1 for civilians and 4:30 p.m. Nov. 2 for military personnel, Moore said. Madison Parish has about 8,719 registered voters, she said.

Voter-registration forms this year are also being made available for the first time in Braille, for blind people, Mississippi Secretary of State Eric Clark has announced.