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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