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Residents should register to vote

By Agnes Dalton

Guest Columnist 

Our party welcomed Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole and Field Director Jacqueline Norris to our meeting on Monday, March 10. Chairman Cole announced there will be a full slate of candidates for the Democratic Primary on June 3, 2014.

For U.S. Senator the candidates are Travis Childers, William Compton, Jr., Bill Marcy, and Jonathan Rawl.

In the 4th Congressional District House of Representatives race Trish Causey and Matthew Moore will be our candidates. More information will be made available when their biographies are released.

Chairman Cole emphasized the need to register our voters and make sure they turn out on Election Day.

The last day to register for the June 3 election is Saturday, May 3 at 12 noon. Make sure all voters have a valid photo ID which is required to vote in this election.

If you are unsure, contact the Circuit Clerk’s office in Poplarville. Absentee voting begins 45 days prior to the June 3rd election which would be around April 17.

If you know you will be out of town on election day, you are over 65 or disabled, you can call the Circuit Clerk’s office at 601-403-2300 and request an absentee ballot be mailed to you.

You can also go to the Clerk’s office in Picayune or Poplarville to vote absentee. Some major points to check if you vote absentee by mail; make sure your signature is witnessed by someone and that BOTH signatures cross the flap of the sealed envelope.

If you vote in person, make sure your signature crosses the sealed flap but also make sure the Deputy Clerk who accepts your ballot SIGNS and PLACES HER SEAL on the paper work you fill out to vote.

Chairman Cole concluded his instructions with two principles to discuss during this election: Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 hour and pay inequality between men and women. Women still make $0.74 compared to their male counterpart’s $1.00.

Our field director conducted training on grassroots organizing and other preparations for this year and for State/County elections in 2015.

They also updated us on legislation being debated in the Legislature with our Democratic Caucus fighting to give our teachers $5000 raise with no strings attached. Unfortunately the bill passed by the Republican House gives them $1000 this year, $1500 next year and any raise thereafter based on merit pay scale and other requirements.

The Senate Democrats were able to have the merit pay provisions removed and the raise was higher than the House Bill but not the $5000 they wanted. The bills will have to go to conference committee to work out the differences.

We will update you next week.