The voting machines are ready, the polling places are ready, the Circuit Clerk is ready and Coahoma County is ready to vote.
The 2020 Presidential Election is Tuesday and while things are busy in the Coahoma County Circuit Clerk’s office they are not as frantic as seen in other parts of the country.
“We’re getting ready,” said Coahoma County Circuit Clerk Demetria Jackson. “Presidential elections are always big and this one is big, too, but we’re ready.”
Jackson said COVID-19 has changed many things and while it will change the voting environment it will not change the way people vote.
“We ask you wear masks, but we can’t deny you the right to vote if you don’t” said Jackson. “State law does not allow us to prevent anyone from casting a ballot.”
Jackson said voters can be told to practice social distancing at the polling places and gloves and hand sanitizers will be available. Pollworkers will wear face shields and have received special training to deal with COVID-19 concerns.
But voters will still show up at their voting precinct, get in line, show voter ID, sign a voter register, get a ballot card and step into the voting booth to cast their ballot on a voting machine.
“The biggest change will be the stylus or pen that you will use to mark your ballot on the machine,” said Jackson. “It has a cotton tip and we will spray or wipe down each stylus, card and voting machine.”
Jackson said she does expect a heavy turnout and that means lines at voting precincts.
“The larger precincts, Lyon, Lee Drive, the Auditorium, National Guard Armory and the Expo Center are the big boxes and it will take a little time to vote at those locations and it always does,” said Jackson. “We’re just asking people to be patient.”
As always, polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. All people in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.
Jackson said absentee voting finishes up Saturday and her office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone wanting to cast a ballot.
“We’ve had over 1,100 absentee ballots cast as of Tuesday (Oct. 27),” said Jackson. “Those ballots will never leave this courthouse. We will verify and tag each ballot by precinct and put them in the absentee box. That box will be opened by us after 7 p.m. on election night and run through the machine to be counted that night.”
Jackson said they have already been told officers from the State Attorney General, Secretary of State and Department of Health will be making spot checks of precincts to make sure voting is being conducted properly.
“If anyone has any questions or wants to know anything about voting they can call me at 624-3014,” said Jackson. “It’s important for people to vote.”
A ballot of local races can be found on Page 18 of this week's Clarksdale Press Register or by scrolling down this website.