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Polls open for Election Day

Polling stations in Lafayette County are staffed and ready for today's election. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Election Day has arrived, and while the polls are open for voting, the work for the employees at the County Circuit Clerk's Office is far from over.

Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Baretta Mosley believes that voter turnout for this year's election will be high.

“Usually our absentee ballots are an indicator for the number of voters and our absentee numbers are up a couple of hundred from four years ago,” Mosley said.

Mosley believes the Circuit Clerk's Office will be thoroughly prepared for the voter turnout today, and commends the five Lafayette County Election Commissioners for their hard work in preparing for the election.

Members are elected to office every four years, the same year as the presidential election, and are charged with supervising the election.

Mary K. Hemphill, Diana Owens, Nell Green, Debbie Black and Faye Phillips are the current members of the committee.

According to Hemphill, the larger turnout in absentee voters indicates the eighteen precincts in Lafayette County need to be well-prepared for the voter turnout.

“We have close to 100 people working the 18 precincts and we’ll be using 97 voting machines,” Hemphill said.

Baretta said the duties of the Election Day workers vary.

“The workers volunteer to work," Baretta said. "For some it’s their first year working, while others have worked for years."

Although poll workers volunteer their time on Election Day, they are paid by the county for their services.

Five University of Mississippi students are volunteering today alongside the 100 poll workers hired by the county.

“Most of them love to work, but it is a terribly long day,” Green said. “They have to stay long after hours to tally up the absentee ballots.”

Hemphill believes the process will go smoothly, given the fact that the majority of people won’t be asked for their IDs at the polls.

“Nobody will be asked to give their IDs at the polls, unless there is a 'Y' by their name in the poll book,” Hemphill said. “The 'Y' means they didn’t come in person to register to vote.”

“To find out which precinct you should go to vote, reference your voter ID card,” Baretta said.