By Shanderia K. Posey
There are literally only days left for Mississippians to register to vote in order to cast their ballots in the Nov. 8 presidential election, and The Mississippi Link is doing its part to ensure as many people as possible get registered.
During the Cure Sickle Cell Foundation’s 5K Walk, Run, Ride Sept. 25 at Thalia Mara Hall, The Link’s vendor table also served as a voter registration table. While most individuals who stopped by the table were registered voters, a few people did update their information on the forms, while others actually registered.
“The Mississippi Link wanted to get involved in voter registration because we feel it is our responsibility to remind every eligible voter that their voice needs to be heard, especially in this election,” said Jackie Hampton, publisher.
“We cannot sit back and complain on issues that affect us. We need to have a voice in who will represent our best interests. Too many people have fought for the rights of every person to be able to vote regardless of race or gender or religious beliefs and we need to exercise this right, like never before.
“So much is at stake in the upcoming presidential election. We have an inexperienced candidate running for office who operates like a loose cannon; a candidate that insults women and minorities and lacks integrity. We need to elect a president that is experienced and ready to serve all Americans in the highest office of this county. African Americans, especially need someone who understands the necessity of insuring justice for all.
“The same holds true for the general election. We must encourage citizens of this state that are not registered to exercise their right to vote in order to influence who represents us in our general election. We must come together and elect people we trust to represent our best interests and who we feel can serve us with integrity. We want everyone to register to vote prior to Oct. 8, so that they can participate in the upcoming general election.”
In addition to offering voter registration Sept. 25, The Link was also present Sept. 27 at Tougaloo College for its Voter Education Series discussions taking place at the Bennie E. Thompson building on campus. The six-part series is open to the public and began Sept. 15. Other discussions include “Voting Rights and College Students” on Sept. 29, “Vote: Building a Unified Power Base,” on Oct. 4, and “Nobody is Free til’ Everybody is Free” on Oct. 6.
A reception is planned for the Oct. 6 event. In attendance will be civil rights activist and former leader of Mississippi’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Bob Moses as well as Reena Evers, daughter of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Mississippi is one of only two states that require voters to register a month before an election.
Forms must be postmarked or hand delivered to the Circuit Clerk’s office in the county for which a person is registering 30 days before an election. Forms can be obtained online from Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office at www.sos.ms.gov.
A few things to keep in mind: a form allows a person to register or change their name and/or address; if you are registering in Mississippi for the first time and do not have a Mississippi driver’s license, a photo ID or copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document showing your name and address must be sent with the application. Individuals convicted of certain crimes are prohibited from registering. On Election Day, a photo ID is required to vote.
For more information, go to www.MSVoterID.ms.gov or call (844) 678-6837.