WATER VALLEY – Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballot in the highly publicized presidential bid between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and, if absentee voting is any indication, the turnout in the county may rival the 2008 presidential election when almost 70 percent of county’s voters participated.
“I’m looking for a big election, our offices have been swamped these last few days as anticipation builds,” Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney told the Herald, estimating that as many as 40 to 50 people are casting absentee ballots each day. Burney is projecting that at least 65 percent of the county’s almost 9,000 registered voters will cast a ballot in this election.
Tuesday’s election marks the first time voters will use new voting machines that were purchased earlier in the year. The new machines replaced the county’s 20-year machines that were purchased used over a decade ago.
“There has been a lot of talk across the nation about the integrity of voting machines,” Burney said. “Our voters will continue to use a paper ballot, we have a paper trail and our machines are stand-alone, they are not hooked up to the internet,” Burney explained. The circuit clerk added that the new machines function the same way as the previous machines, scanning each ballot as they are inserted by the voter.
“We have stayed away from the electronic voting machines that so many counties have switched to,” Burney added.
Burney also said that the attorney general’s office may have an officer in the county observing the election. “They called to get the location of our precincts, I think Yalobusha is one of the counties the agency selected to observe as part of the continuous oversight across the state during elections.”
Absentee voting will continue until Saturday at noon at the circuit clerk’s offices in the Water Valley and Coffeeville Courthouse. 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.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on election day, Nov. 8, at the county’s 11 precincts.
“We have trained and trained for this election, I think everybody is ready for it,” the circuit clerk added.
Poll workers selected to work the election include:
Beat One North: W. G. Griffin, RO; Doris Holmes, Judy Sartain, Lowedia Doolin, Pat Ray, Bobby Cox;
Beat One South: Patricia Rodrigue, RO; Marjorie Moore, Teresa Persick, Mary Townes, Rita Griffin;
Beat Two Water Valley: Alice Williams, RO; Rubye Carr, Mildred Carpenter, Mary Lou Jones, Inez Turner;
Beat Three Northwest: Johnny F. Dunn, RO; Kathy Pullen, Shirley Dunn, Eva Cook, Ruth Ann Thomas, Danny Stephens;
Beat Three Sylva Rena: Martha Tatum, RO; Ora Lee Phillips, Bennia Phillips;
Beat Four Coffeeville: Doyle Varner, RO; Shirley Avant, Riva Shelton, Claude Harris, Delice Reese;
Beat Four Oakland: George M. Worsham, RO; Lizzie Earl, Freddie Winters, Della Kendrick, Deborah McLeod, Stephanie Patterson;
Beat Five Coffeeville: Deborah Bourn, RO; Elsie Harrison, Sandra Rains, William McCullar, Floydette McClora;
Beat Five Scobey: Joyce Courtney, RO; Lena Townes, Tommy Hill, Dorothy Tanner;
Beat Five Scuna-Vann’s Mills: Bobbie Shirley, RO; James Calder, Elizabeth Coleman, Georgia Russell;
Beat Five Tillatoba: Vickie Hollis, RO; Rosie Tinnon, Frances Adkins, Barbara Watkins, Barry Doubleday.