Clearing Up Voter Confusion

Efforts are being made to clear up confusion prior to Tuesday's voting. There are some significant differences concerning the laws in Mississippi and Alabama.

Leading into election day, officials say what's causing the most confusion is whether voters will be required to show an ID. In Mississippi the answer is no.

''You do not have to have any identification to vote,' says Lauderdale County Election Commission Chairman, Awana Simmons.

Unlike in Mississippi where voters will not be required to show ID at the polls, in Alabama voters will have to show ID before voting.

Another major difference is the distance that people campaigning must stay away from a polling place. In Alabama it's 30 feet from the precinct's door; in Mississippi it's much farther.

'There's no campaigning within 150 feet of the entrance of the building in which the election is being held. This includes t-shirts, caps, pins and candy,' says Simmons.

Another difference is that on Mississippi's ballot voters must vote for each candidate individually. However, in Alabama voters have the option of marking one space to vote for all democratic or republican candidates on the ballot.

A final difference between voting in Mississippi and Alabama is that Mississippi voters are not allowed to wear anything, such as a shirt or cap into a polling place that endorses a candidate. However, in Alabama voters can wear these things, but once they vote they must leave the site.

On a final note, voters in Mississippi and Alabama are allowed to take a sample ballot into a polling place with them. If he or she needs assistance voting, that voter must alert a poll worker and either a poll worker or someone else of the voter's choosing can assist that person voting.


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