By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – When Yalobusha voters go to the polls next Tuesday, they will be part of what is predicted to be a historic turnout statewide.
“We think this will be the largest election Yalobusha County has ever had,” said Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney. “We’re electing all of our congressmen and some judges. We’ve never had this before at one time.”
There have also been 603 new voters registered in Yalobusha County, according to the Circuit Clerk. “Probably the heaviest registration has been in Beat 1 North and Beat 2 Water Valley.”
Burney added that he wants to make it as easy as possible for those wanting to vote and he urged citizens to go to the polls. “No matter who you are going to support, you need to vote.”
He has ordered plenty of ballots in anticipation of the extremely heavy turnout. “We have enough to make sure that everyone is taken care of on Election Day,” Burney said.
Even though the turnout is expected to be large, the Circuit Clerk said that he doesn’t expect long lines at the polls. “You can take your time if you need to.”
Burney said that absentee voting has been “pretty brisk” and will continue until noon Saturday. In Yalobusha County about five percent of the vote will be absentee.
Some military ballots have been coming in by email. The Federal Voting Assistance Program permits overseas and military voters to request and receive an absentee ballot through a secure Department of Defense Web site.
“We try to make it as easy as possible for the military to vote,” Burney emphasized.
The Circuit Clerk conceded that there is always the possibility of some problems during an election. “There’s no perfect election,” he said.
One problem that could occur is that a voter may not be found on the poll book and may have to cast an affidavit ballot. In that case, the voter can contact an election commissioner later to see if their vote will be counted.
Burney and the election commissioners are working closely together to make the process as efficient as possible. “We have backups for everything,” he said.
However, Burney is confident that voting in Yalobusha County will go smoothly. “Barring a natural disaster, we probably will be the first in the state to get election results in.”
By Jack Gurner
JACKSON – An analysis of voter data released this past weekend by the Associated Press claims that 29 counties – including Yalobusha – have more registered voters than residents old enough to cast a ballot.
The article, by AP writer Emily Wagster Pettus, uses 2000 census figures that are called “the most recent available for all counties.” The voting age population (VAP) of Yalobusha County is shown in the article at 9,711 with 9,943 voters registered.
However, the US Census Bureau website shows an estimated VAP for 2006 of 10,078 for the county. That puts the VAP two years ago at 135 more than the current number.
The total estimated population Of Yalobusha County for 2006 is 13,401 with an estimated over-18 population of 75.2 percent. A more recent estimate by a private firm shows the 2007 population at 13,672. That would add another 203 people to the VAP.
Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney said that there were almost 11,000 registered voters in the county at one time. But, the Election Commissioners working in cooperation with his office have been able to reduce that figure.
“You just can’t take someone off the roles,” Burney said.
Federal laws designed to protect voting rights have made it difficult to remove those who have died or moved away. The U. S. Department of Justice has to approve any changes in election laws or voting procedures.
The Circuit Clerk’s office has placed another 600-700 names on the inactive list and those people will be removed from the voting roles if they don’t cast a ballot in this next federal election, according to Burney.
Yalobusha County Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney released the following pollworkers for each beat:
BEAT 1 NORTH – Water Valley
Melvin Ford – Returning Officer (RO)
BEAT 1 SOUTH – Water Valley
Sara Beth Morton – (RO)
BEAT 2 WV – Water Valley
Ann Babb – (RO)
Mary Lou Jones
Mary Alice Moorman
BEAT 3 NW – Water Valley
Lily Lois Horan – (RO)
BEAT 3 SR – Sylva Rena
Andy Grass – (RO)
Willie Mae Turner
BEAT 4 CF – Coffeeville
Pamela D. Harris – (RO)
BEAT 4 OK – Oakland
Mike Worsham – (RO)
BEAT 5 CF – Coffeeville
Elsie Harrison – (RO)
BEAT 5 SVM – Scuna Valley
William McCullar – (RO)
Bobby Moore Shirley
BEAT STL – Tillatoba
Mrs. Darrell Briscoe – (RO)
BEAT 5 SB – Scobey
Joyce Courtney – (RO)
Lena May Townes