By David Howell
Yalobusha election officials are getting plenty of experience as the fourth election day this year is fast approaching.
But judging from the slim number of absentee voting to date, Yalobusha Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney said the voter turnout on December 11 may be light.
“Generally you can judge the interest in an election from the number of absentee votes that are cast in the weeks prior to the election,” Burney said.
Absentee voting will continue in Circuit Clerk offices in Water Valley and Coffeeville through Saturday, Dec. 8, at noon. State law allows anyone who has to be out of the county on election day to vote absentee. Others who are eligible to vote absentee include anyone is 65 or older, disabled or in the military.
Burney is urging Yalobushians to vote in the special election, which is estimated to cost $20,000 to $21,000.
“We are trying to hold the cost down as much as we can,” Burney said.
The biggest chunk of the election expenditure comes from paying the poll workers on election day. The poll workers earn from $75 to $95 on election day, which usually lasts about 14 hours, according to Burney.
“We have a minimum of three poll workers per precinct,” Burney said. The county has 11 precincts, and many precincts have five or six pollwokers.
Programming the precinct scanners to scan the ballots add another $3,000 to $4,000 to the election expense.
Another expense is the ballots, which cost the county 35 cents a piece. Burney said that he orders enough ballots to accomodate 65 to 70 percent of the county’s registered voters.
“We have to make sure we have enough ballots,” Burney said.
There are 10,344 registered voters who are registered to vote in the election. Burney estimates that 300 to 400 extra people registered to vote in the special election.