Election officials prepare for primaries

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Locals are gearing up for Tuesday's primary elections.

There are only two races on the ballot on June 5, the congressional and senate races. Both are broken down between Democrat and Republican.

“We have gotten tons of calls from people asking where the judges are on the ballot. That election will be in November. A lot of people have been confused because of all the signs all over town,” Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson says.

If you have voted in the past in Lauderdale County, it will be a little bit different starting with this primary. This will be the first election where the county will use paper ballots and one ballot machine.

“There will be voting partitions for each voter to be able to go to and cast their ballot in privacy,” Election Commissioner Jeff Tate says.

Tate says there will be one of the new voting machines at each precinct. He says once you are finished filling in the bubbles next to the candidates of your choice, you insert it into the machine which then counts it.

“There is a display that will let you know if you skipped a race. You can hit one button to return your ballot or the other to cast it. That’s there just in case you accidentally skip it or if you did not mark it dark enough to satisfy the machine,” Tate says.

According to Tate, the absentee voter turnout has been a good one this time around. He says around 700 people have already voted and he hopes that good turnout will be reflected during this mid-term election.

“We should start getting election results out around 9:30 p.m. when using this system,” Tate says.