Miss-Lou voter registration deadline nearing

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NATCHEZ — The deadline for Miss-Lou voters to register to cast a ballot in the Nov. 4 election is approaching.

In Mississippi, residents have until Saturday to register for elections.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in a news release Monday that circuit clerks’ offices will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday to accept voter registration applications.

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Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked by Saturday to be eligible to vote in the election.

Eligible military and overseas voters are given an extended registration period in Mississippi. The deadline for military and overseas voters to register to vote is Oct. 25.

State law requires voters to register 30 days before casting a ballot in a particular election.

Adams County voters will elect a new county court judge after 31-year veteran Judge John Hudson  announced he would not be seeking re-election. Six candidates qualified for the election — Walt Brown, Lamar Bullen, Patricia Dunmore, Brandi Lewis, Scott Pintard and Scott Slover.

For the Senate race, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) will face former congressman Travis Childers (D-Booneville). Cochran secured the nomination after defeating Tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) in a runoff election June 24.

In Louisiana, residents have until Monday to register.

More than 90,000 Louisiana residents have sent registration documents to local registrars’ offices across the state since Aug. 1. That includes 28,000 valid new voter forms. Another 52,000 were changes to existing voter records, while 10,000 were either invalid or duplicate registrations.

In Concordia Parish, voters will cast ballots for a variety of positions including judicial seats, district attorney, school board, justice of the peace and constable seats.

Louisiana voters will also choose Democrat U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu or one of her Republican opponents, who include Baton Rouge’s U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and tea party-backed Rob Maness, of Madisonville, in the heated U.S. Senate battle. The race has been identified nationally as one that could ultimately determine whether Democrats maintain control of the Senate.

In anticipation of intense outside interest in Louisiana’s elections, Secretary of State Tom Schedler said his office reached out to groups that it knew would be working to register voters in Louisiana. He said the interaction has been positive with most groups.

“They keep in constant contact with us,” he said.

“Louisiana doesn’t have a trove of unregistered voters out there to reach,” Schedler said. “The universe of unregistered voters is getting thinner and thinner.”

He said he would like for state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring outside groups to register with his office before they can make large-scale voter registration pushes in Louisiana.

“Right now, we have no clue who is out there,” he said.

Schedler said one of his concerns is that people don’t know what they are getting with an outside registrant. There’s no guarantee an in-person registration form will make it to the registrar’s office in time, and there’s no guarantee that a third-party entity won’t gather information in some way, he said.

He said the state has tried to simplify the process. Prospective voters can even register online or check their registration through the secretary of state’s website at GeauxVote.com.

“You can do it all through the official way,” Schedler said. “You don’t have to rely on these groups.”