"I came home this weekend to vote absentee because I go to Southern Miss and this is my first time voting and I'm super excited to vote."
"I work shift work, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and so I won't be able to come Tuesday."
Those were two of the 186 Lauderdale County absentee voters with a legal reason to vote early who cast their ballot Saturday. Since Mississippi doesn't have early voting, you must have a valid reason why you can't make it to the polls on November 6th. There was a wide range of reasons people voted absentee at the Circuit Clerk's office today.
Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson says that, "Mostly what we had this morning were college students that came home from school. We had several truck drivers, long haul truck drivers, and then we had a lot of people that work shift work."
Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson has been stressing the importance of voting absentee early to avoid long lines, and she says that tactic has worked.
"People like railroad workers, nurses, people in the medical field, they know they can come in 30 days before the election and don't wait until the last minute."
Saturday at noon was the legal cutoff for in person absentee voting, but if you're in the military or mailing your ballot in, you still have a little more time.
"Your mail-in ballots need to be into the Circuit Clerk's Office by 5:00 PM on Monday, the day before the election. Military absentee voters are accepted on election day."
Right now all the absentee ballots are sealed and being sorted according to what precinct they belong in, and then
"They will be at the precinct level on election day. They are not counted until election night.