From press & staff reports
Voter turnout in the United States fluctuates in national elections but has never been as strong as other well-established democracies.
Only 60 percent of the voting eligible population usually heads to the polls during presidential election years, according to the Center for Voting and Democracy.
This election cycle may be different with the present voting patterns.
“Absentee voting is huge this year,” said Winston County Circuit Clerk Kim Ming.
393 absentee ballots had been returned as of Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. to the circuit clerk’s office and Ming is expecting this number to grow dramatically as requests for absentee ballots grows each day.
“If absentee voting is any indication, I believe Winston County will have a huge turnout this election,’ said Ming.
With a small staff, Ming noted the circuit clerk’s office’s biggest challenge is preparing for circuit court, the November 8 election and get all the absentee ballot requests out and the absentee ballots back in.
Absentee ballots must be returned to the circuit clerk’s office by mail by Monday, Nov. 7 in the morning.
The Voter Foundation recently released a survey on the attitudes of infrequent voters to encourage voter to look past the excuses below and vote:
Too Busy: 28 percent of infrequent voters and 23 percent of those unregistered to vote said their schedules and time allowances get in the way of them voting.
Contradiction: Even with busy schedules, 93 percent of infrequent voters agreed that voting is an important part of being a good citizen. Eighty-one percent of nonvoters agreed.
The survey also found that nonvoters are disproportionately young, single, less educated and more likely to be of an ethnic minority than infrequent and frequent voters.
Forty percent of the nonvoters are under 30 years old, compared to 29 percent of infrequent voters and 14 percent of frequent voters.
Other numbers from the study include the fact that infrequent voters are much more likely to be married than nonvoters, with 50 percent of infrequent voters married compared to only 34 percent of nonvoters
About 76 percent of nonvoters have less than a college degree, compared to 61 percent of infrequent voters and 50 percent of frequent voters
Among nonvoters, 54 percent are white or Caucasian compared to 60 percent of infrequent voters and 70 percent of frequent voters.
Mississippi State University students were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot for Election Day. The Student Association, working in conjunction with Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, spearheaded the effort to increase student engagement.