WATER VALLEY – If you are not a registered voter, the deadline is approaching to register to vote in the November 6 General Election.
The deadline is a month prior to the election, Saturday, October 6, and Circuit Clerk’s offices in Coffeeville and Water Valley will be open until noon.
Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney listed four criteria that would warrant a trip to his offices in Water Valley or Coffeeville – if you have moved, had a name change, if you have never registered to vote or if you turn 18 years-old before November 6.
Burney said absentee ballots are ready in his offices. Voters can cast an absentee ballot until Saturday, Nov. 3. Both offices will be also open until noon both on Nov. 3 and Oct. 27 for absentee voting.
In Mississippi, registered voters are eligible to vote absentee because of age, health or work demands, or their affiliation with the U.S. armed forces. For example, voters who will be outside their county of residence on election day are entitled to vote by absentee ballot.
Burney said the latest information provided by the Secretary of State indicates voters will not have to show identification to vote.
Although the state’s voter ID ballot initiative passed last year, the change must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Because Mississippi and most other southern states fall under the preclearance act requirement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, changes in voting laws must be approved by the DOJ or a federal judicial panel.
Last week Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told state lawmakers he expects Mississippi’s voter ID law will not receive DOJ approval and will land in court.
“This means voters across the state will not likely be required to show identification on Nov. 6 unless they are voting for the first time after mailing in their registration,” Burney told the Herald.