From press & staff reports
How often have you voted for your favorite sports team or television show? Don’t you think issues that usually affect your daily life deserve your vote, too?
For most voters in Winston County, the process of casting their ballot should take no more than 10 minutes, depending on the location of their voting precinct.
That time period is short enough that you could fit it in quickly before work, during lunch or at the end of your workday. In Winston County, polling places stay open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to allow people to come in before or after work.
Are you scared of the overall prospect of voting? Are you worried you will make a mistake or look uncomfortable walking into a polling place?
Don’t be. Voting is a straightforward process, one that will be explained at the actual location on voting day. If you have any questions on the process, ask one of the poll workers on-site. They are trained to make voting as seamless as possible and will be able to handle any technical issues that may come up.
Many states, like Mississippi, allow their citizens to vote via absentee voting.
Absentee voting is a vote that is submitted before an election by a voter who is not able to be present when the election occurs. Registered voters are mailed an application, which they can conveniently fill out and send back in the provided security envelope.
If you are a citizen of Mississippi and a registered voter you may vote absentee if you meet one of the following conditions:
You will be away from your county on election day for any reason;
You are a student, teacher or administrator at a school whose studies or employment there necessitates your absence from your county on election day; or you are the spouse or dependent thereof;
You have a temporary or permanent physical disability that renders you unable to vote in person without substantial hardship;
You are the parent, spouse or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside of their county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away, and you (the parent, spouse or dependent) will be with that person on election day;
You are sixty-five (65) years of age or older;
You will be unable to vote in person because you are required to be at work on Election Day during the times at which the polls will be open.
In Winston County, you will have the option to submit an absentee ballot with the Circuit Clerk’s office up until the last Saturday before the election on November 5. The office will be open on the special hours of 8 a.m. to 12 noon. This will be the last day to submit absentee votes.
“You are required to show photo ID when absentee voting at the circuit clerk’s office,” said Winston County Circuit Clerk Kim Ming. “Individuals voting by mail need to make sure ballots are signed across the seal and properly witnessed or notarized.”
A nationwide effort has been in place for many years to make voting accessible for voters with disabilities. Both federal law and state requirements mandate that voting systems allow such voters to have the same opportunity for access and participation as non-disabled voters have. Temporary or permanently disabled voters must have a witness 18 years or older. All others must be notarized.
It is required that every precinct must have at least one accessible voting machine available for use by voters with special needs, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. This includes the absentee voting site at the courthouse.
If you have any questions regarding absentee voting, or any other general questions regarding the voting process, you may contact the Winston County Circuit Clerk’s office at 662-773-3581.
Secretary Hosemann proudly displays the artwork of students participating in the Secretary of State’s Promote the Vote program at the State Capitol.