Election Officials Prepare for Primaries

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

In many Mississippi counties, including Lauderdale, several races will be decided in the primaries Tuesday. So Aug. 2 could be even busier than the Nov. 8 general election.

It's all up to party officials and volunteers to make sure everything is ready for voters from the poll boxes to the paperwork. The hours before election day are always full of last minute details.

"We are packing the boxes that will go out to each of the polling places for Republicans," said David Stevens, Lauderdale County GOP chairman. "Trying to make sure we have poll workers. Someone always gets sick or falls down, so we are just making sure those gaps are filled so we will be able to take care of the voters when they show up at the polls."

For Democratic officials, also working down to the wire at the courthouse, it's much the same. There's a lot of work that has to get done in the hours prior to the first vote being cast.

"Before things go out to the precinct, they will come in and basically do a double check and then go out to the polls," said Walter Patton, Democratic Party volunteer.

"We are hoping we have good turnout," said Stevens. "There are a lot good Republican contested races. There is a lot of competition in the statewide and local races, so we are hoping we have a good turnout."

And while both parties are optimistic the day will run smoothly, they are certain about one thing.

"I think we will have a lot of surprises tomorrow, but I think everything will go smoothly," Patton said.

The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office is in charge of elections statewide. It issued several tips to remember as you get ready to vote. First, look to vote in off-peak times, if you can; early in the morning and late afternoon are the busiest times. Watch what you wear. You may not wear clothing supporting your candidate of choice within 150 feet of a polling location. Finally, be patient, especially if you go early or late. The lines could be long at times.

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  • by lcrez Location: lc on Aug 2, 2011 at 02:11 PM
    Party Primary elections are what they are. You can say it is unfair but that's the rules for this type of election. You would have to change the rules. I would agree that at least in local elections (maybe even in state elections) you should just have open elections. List all the candidates and if no one gets 50 one vote, have a run off with the top two candidates regardless of party affiliation. Party primaries take the place of state and local party conventions to select candidates for each elected office. I think we have come to a time when we should just vote for the best person for the job. The Primary election may have become a dinosaur.
  • by Everette Location: Union on Aug 2, 2011 at 01:41 PM
    Our primary Rules really Stink.We should have Open Primarys Where if you Are a republican You Could vote for your favorites Running For local Offices And state offices.This is so Unfare. I dont care what the Justice department Rules are. Closed primarys Are An Unfair Way To Do Business.
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