Voters who registered at driver’s license bureaus may need to affirm registration

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Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today

Rogers McClellan votes during the 2018 Mississippi Primary Election at Christ United Methodist Church, voting precinct 46, in the 6000 block of Old Canton Road in Jackson Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

People who registered to vote when obtaining or renewing their driver’s license should check with their local circuit clerk on Monday, if they have not received a voter registration card.

According to some circuit clerks in the state, in some instances the voter registration information from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is not being made available to their offices so the new voters can be placed on the voter rolls. If a person is not on the voter rolls by Oct. 8, they most likely will not be eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

“We have had some people say they have registered” when renewing or obtaining a driver’s license “and we don’t receive it,” said Becca Bunch, a deputy circuit clerk in Forrest County.

She said she does not believe it is a large number of registrations being lost, but “it has happened.”

An employee in Lee County echoed similar comments.

“We have had some fall through the cracks,” said the Lee County employee.

Monday is the deadline to register in person in the circuit clerk’s office for the Nov. 6 general election where two Senate elections, four U.S. House contests and multiple judicial elections will be on the ballot.

Voter registration applications postmarked Tuesday also will be accepted.

People who register at driver’s license bureau stations should receive a voter registration card from the circuit clerk in the county where they reside. If they have not received one, they should check with their circuit clerk by Monday, officials said.

Officials speculate that some voter registration applications from driver’s license bureaus might fall through the cracks because people incorrectly fill out the application or it is entered into the statewide voter registration system incorrectly.

In Hinds County, Deputy Circuit Clerk LaGecha McKinley said she had heard no complaints of voter registrations from driver’s license bureaus not being sent to her office. She said on Thursday she got 87 new registered voters in Hinds County via people registering at driver’s license bureaus.

Leah Rupp Smith, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, said Friday afternoon, her office is not aware of any problem.

“Between yesterday and today, our Statewide Elections Management System reflects more than 650 new DPS registrations or address changes,” she said.

But she said people can call  (601) 576-2550 or 1-800-829-6786 to receive assistance from the Secretary of State’s office on voter registration issues.