Online tools aimed at helping voters - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Online tools aimed at helping voters

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Marrio Gandy says voting 101 isn't always simple.

"Probably why some people don't vote cause it's so hard to find the right precinct," explained Gandy.

Gandy has learned his lesson the hard way. He moved around and that's when the confusion set in.

"My neighbor that stayed like a block over from me but his voter registration was on the other side of town," described Gandy. "And I thought that's where I voted because we was neighbors. And I went and my name wasn't even on there. And they told me I had to come over here and vote at the library."

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's office has been hearing those same complaints.

"We had gotten our calls and we monitor those," said Hosemann. "At the end of every election, we go through our call list. What did people call about? What are they asking about? And we saw that about half of them were where do I go vote? And we said well, we'll be proactive here."

They've rolled out the "polling place locator". It's easy to use. In a news release, the office explained how it works.

Here are the steps:

  • Go to Secretary of State's website.
  • Enter your address into the respective fields by following the instructions at the top of the page.
  • The polling place locator will produce the address of your polling location, a Google map with directions to your polling place, your Circuit Clerk's contact information, and a sample ballot specific to your location.

Secretary Hosemann said,

"We want to start that conversation. Who are you voting for? Why are you voting for that person? That creates a lot of hopefully turnout," said Hosemann.

Voter Marrio Gandy admits the feature will help.

"There have been times I went to vote and there were people on the ballot that I didn't know nothing about," said Gandy said. "And so you know, I'd kinda like a little sneak peak."

The Secretary of State has also introduced a new text alert system. Folks can sign up and get reminders for registration deadlines and voting dates.

The news release explains the way the system works like this:

  • Anyone can text “MSVoter” to 95577.
  • A standard text message will confirm the addition of their cell phone number to the distribution list. The message will also explain how to opt out if they choose.
  • Important election reminders and updates will be sent out periodically by the Secretary of State's Office. A user may opt out at any time.

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