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WATCH: Secretary of State Michael...

WATCH: Secretary of State Michael Watson provides updates on the 2020 General Election

By: Sarah Ulmer - November 2, 2020

Just one day before the 2020 General Election, Secretary of State Michael Watson held a press conference to provide updates on how things were progressing.

Watson said as people head to the polls to remember that campaigning is not allowed within 150 feet of a precinct. That means, leave any shirts, hats or signs for your desired candidate at home when going to vote.

He added that poll workers will be wearing masks and using proper sanitation when operating the polls. While, voters are not required to wear a mask to vote, Watson encouraged them to wear them and to use ‘common sense’ as they go cast a ballot.

This year, those who have COVID exceptions or are exhibiting symptoms will be allowed to vote curbside. Typically this type of voting is only reserved for those who are handicapped and have trouble getting into a polling place.

“To poll managers, thank you thank you thank you,” said Watson. “We believe we are going to have a great turnout tomorrow.”

Absentee ballots have skyrocketed this year with 248,335 absentee ballots requested247,650 absentee ballots sent, and 231,031 absentee ballots received in the state of Mississippi for the 2020 General Election.

Absentee ballots can begin being processed as early as 7 a.m. tomorrow morning and they can begin to be counted at 7 p.m. Mississippi is allowing for absentee ballots to be counted as late as November 10 (as long as they are postmarked by November, 3), but he believes that the vast majority of them will come in and be counted by Tuesday night.

Even with those numbers, Watson said he does expect a higher turnout in person.

“We also have three initiatives on the ballot so I think you’re going to see a great turnout here in Mississippi,” said Watson. “I think we are going to see a great turnout.”

With an increase in poll workers, Watson said the voting process for people should move quickly without many long lines like other states have seen.

Watson also took time clarifying how to vote on the ballot initiatives. The medical marijuana initiatives are a two part question.

If you are for Initiative 65: 

You would vote for BOTH on the first question and FOR Initiative 65.

If you are for Initiative 65A: 

You would vote for BOTH on the first question and FOR Initiative 65A.

If you are against 65 or 65A: 

Vote AGAINST BOTH on the first question. That will be counted as a no vote

If you would still like to make a preference on the second question, you can and your vote would be counted. For those who are for a program but don’t have a preference, you do not have to specify on the second question.

The need for a two part question on the medical marijuana initiative requires Mississippi to first approve the desire for a program first, with the majority of the vote. Then voters choose which program “if” there is to be one, which requires 40 percent of the vote in order to pass one over another.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: