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Consider casting absentee ballots this year

For citizens worried about their right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams County Election Commissioner Larry Gardner has an answer — the absentee ballot.

City leaders have been grappling with deciding when to hold upcoming city elections.

On Tuesday, Gardner urged board members to move the May 12 primary election to June 2. Gardner expressed concerns about the health of voters, candidates and pollworkers as the current virus outbreak continues.

City leaders reached out to the Attorney General to help determine the legalities of postponing the election. Moving the election — for the health of everyone involved — makes sense in our opinion and is the right thing to do.

We hope that by June 2, the restrictions on gatherings in public and social distancing will be lifted.

Until a vaccine is manufactured or other medical treatments are discovered, the likelihood is that we will not have fully recovered from the pandemic.

Many voters may still have concerns about venturing out in public — especially to places where large groups gather.  Gardner pointed out that current state law allows voters to apply for absentee ballots if they are temporarily “disabled.” Gardner said this part of the law would apply to the current restrictions enacted by city and state governments.

We encourage Natchez voters — especially those who are considered high-risk — to strongly consider making an application for an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballot applications can be obtained by calling the city clerk’s office at 601-445-7507 or by emailing sfortenberry@natchez.ms.us.

Few rights are more important to American citizens than the right to vote. Voters should not be forced to decide between their right to vote and risking their lives in the face of the current virus.

Casting an absentee ballot is one way residents can safely cast a ballot without taking that risk.