New voting precinct, electronic poll books on tap for Nov. 6 election
With midterm elections a few days away, the Lafayette County Election Commission is working diligently to make the voting process as easy as possible.
Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Baretta Mosely said that the election commissioners and her staff have been preparing the poll books and ensuring that the electronic voting booths are all working properly in advance on Tuesday’s election.
While Lafayette County has held an election – a bond vote for the Lafayette County School District – since the primaries were held in June, Mosley said that this election could mark the first time that many voters have seen the electronic poll books that are now used at precincts across Lafayette County.
The commission first used the books in June, a decision that Mosley said was made in order to given poll workers plenty of time to train on the electronic books ahead of a big election.
With the electronic poll books, a voter’s driver’s license can be scanned in order to verify their information. Once the information is verified, the voter will sign the book using a stylus pen – just like signing a traditional sign-in roster ahead of casting a ballot.
The process is meant to be quicker and easier for voters, Mosley said.
“I can only speak to my personal precinct, but they were singing the praises of the electronic poll books because they were making things move a lot faster,” Mosley said in June following the primary election.
New polling precinct
Voters who traditionally cast their ballots at the Jackson Avenue Center should be aware that the polling location has changed.
The precinct – which covers District 4 in Lafayette County – has moved to the Oxford Civic Club.
The change was made in July, at the request of the University of Mississippi. The University now owns the Jackson Avenue Center.
“We sent out notices back in the summer to let everyone know of the change,” Mosley said on Friday.
Ole Miss requested that the precinct be moved in 2017, but Mosley said that the University allowed the precinct to remain for several months as officials looked for a new location to house the precinct.
District 4 is one of the larger precincts in Lafayette County, Mosley said.
No other precinct locations have changed inside the county, though voters can check the location of their precinct by visiting http://www.sos.ms.gov/pollingplace/Pages/default.aspx or by calling the Circuit Clerk’s office at 662-234-4951.
“We will be open and available to answer any questions or to assist anyone on election day,” Mosley said.
Rides to the polls
For those who need a ride to a polling location, there are several options available.
Oxford University Transit includes three stops near polling precincts: the County Health Center, the Stone Center and the Oxford Park Commission offices. All three can be accessed via the Red Line, while OPC can be accessed by taking either the Red or Blue Line.
Previously, O.U.T.’s Gray Line featured a stop near the Oxford Conference Center which is the largest polling precinct in Lafayette County. However, the line was discontinued.
Due to federal regulations, O.U.T. is unable to alter or add routes on election day. However, for voters who cannot access polling locations via public transit, private companies are another option.
Both Uber and Lyft are offering free or discounted rides to polling locations on Tuesday. For Uber, voters should download the most recent version of the app on their phones and use the Election Day code provided within the app.
Lyft users can access discount codes by visiting https://www.buzzfeed.com/pollup2018/welcome-to-pollup2018 and entering their zip code. From there, voters can enter the code in the app to obtain a discounted ride to their polling precinct.
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