Absentee voting has been ongoing for a couple of weeks in Mississippi. Officials say it's on a level that was expected, with voters interested in local and state races, as well as three proposed amendments to the state Constitution.
Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson says she's pleased that more than 700 voters have already cast their absentee ballots.
"We're awfully proud of Lauderdale County voters because we feel like they care," said Johnson. "They've stepped up to the plate. They've tried to learn something about the three initiatives on the ballot."
One is about whether or not voters must show a photo ID in order to vote.
Another asks if the term 'person' should be defined as a human being from the moment of fertilization.
The third asks if government should be prohibited from taking property through eminent domain and then transferring it to others.
While Johnson admits 700 is slightly below the average number of absentee voters she would normally see two weeks prior to an election, she says she's confident the pace will pick up as the election nears. Johnson encourages you not to wait until the last minute if you are voting absentee.
"We need to go ahead and proceed now with absentees," said Johnson. "So they won't be waiting in line; they won't wait until the last minute. And there is a legal process that you have to go through if they are out of town. So time could be running out."
"There may be a crowd or something in here voting at that time," said Jerry Greene, who voted by absentee ballot. "So it'd be wise to get on down here now and do it."
Wallace Heggie, District 1 election commissioner, says he and the other commissioners have been working to make sure all of the poll books, election ballots, precinct furniture and other essential equipment are in place for election day.
"It has been real smooth," said Heggie. "We don't see any bumps at this time. We are in the process of proofing some ballots over here now to make sure everything is squared away there."
The last day to vote by absentee ballot is Saturday, Nov. 5, at 12 noon.