Around Vicksburg, race is on to register residents to vote

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

Drives to pump up the voter rolls in advance of this year’s presidential election will continue in the coming weeks and will be spearheaded by local churches and geared toward college students.

Volunteers at five local houses of worship will register new voters and raise civic awareness. Venues include Greater Grove Street M.B, Jackson Street M.B, Kings Community Empowerment Center, Mount Zion No. 1 Baptist and Bingham Memorial Baptist. Events are from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Similar events were held over the weekend at Pemberton Square mall and were organized by the Vicksburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Sorority Inc. and the MXO Chapter of AKA Sorority Inc.

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Members of the Associated Student Government and Phi Theta Kappa chapters at Hinds Community College will register fellow students at separate events at each of its six campuses beginning Monday through Oct. 2. Registration forms will be delivered to county offices.

Events form a run-up to Friday’s presidential debate at the University of Mississippi, a first in Mississippi. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain will deliberate national security and foreign policy issues at 8 p.m. in a series of nine segments lasting nine minutes each. Public Broadcasting Service news anchor Jim Lehrer will moderate, introducing topics and allowing two minutes for comment and five minutes for additional discussion.

Subsequent presidential debates are set for Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville — a town hall-style format — and Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. A debate between the nominees for vice president is set for Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Registration for voting in the Nov. 4 general election continues through Oct. 3, when Circuit Clerk’s Office officials will tally of how many will be eligible to cast ballots for president and a host of other offices. Absentee ballots may be cast until noon Oct. 4

Races on the Nov. 4 general election ballot will include the presidential election, where Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain will appear as the major party nominees. Congressional races include both U.S. Senate seats and the 2nd District race in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sen. Thad Cochran, a Republican, is opposed by Democrat and former state Rep. Erik Fleming, while Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican, is opposed by Democrat and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson is opposed by Jackson teacher Richard Cook, a Republican.

Qualifying continues through Oct. 3 for seats in Districts 3 and 4 on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees, Circuit Clerk’s Office officials said. Incumbent Betty Tolliver filed this week for re-election in the city-based District 3, while District 4 Trustee Jan Daigre has declined a second term.

Candidates for spots on the five-member Election Commission are Patricia “Petesy” Smith District 1, Retha L. Summers in District 2, John Rundell in District 4 and Gordon “Motor” Carr in District 5. All are unopposed. No candidate qualified in District 3.


Events are from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For information, call Fermika Smith at 601-831-3230.

• Greater Grove Street M.B., 2715 Alcorn Drive

• Jackson Street M.B., 1416 Jackson St.

• Kings Community Empowerment Center, 200 R.L. Chase Circle

• Mount Zion No. 1 Baptist, 920 Fifth North St.

• Bingham Memorial Baptist, 1063 Green St.

Hinds Community College

• Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center — Sept. 22 and Sept. 24; in the foyer of the Alexander Academic Building and Bivins Technical Building.

• Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center — 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, in the breezeway.

• Rankin Campus — 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, the George Wynne Hall Mezzanine.

• Utica Campus — 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily through Friday, in the Student Support Services office in the Student Union;. 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday, during the Annual Student Leadership Conference, in the Fine Arts Complex.

• Vicksburg Campus — 8 a.m.-noon Oct. 2, in the Annex Building.