PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — Tuesday is an important election day in Mississippi, where voters are deciding who will be governor for the next four years.
Monday, the Department of Justice announced it’s sending poll watchers to Madison County and about an hour south of Memphis to Panola County.
Kaye Smith, the Panola County Election Commissioner for District Five, says representatives from the Department of Justice met with Panola County election commissioners to outline how they would be observing Tuesday’s election.
“They would be thirty feet from the front door observing,” Smith said. “They would not be in the precincts and would let us know if they saw anything that needed to be corrected.”
The DOJ announced it would “monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws in several jurisdictions” for the November 7 general election, and Kaye Smith says she doesn’t expect to hear anything negative.
Voters in Panola County had positive reactions to the DOJ’s presence.
“If there’s something going wrong, there should be someone here to check it out,” said Kathy Lott, resident.
The DOJ also had observers in Panola County during the primary in August and did not report any issues to the County, according to Smith. She says there are two observers, a man and a woman.
Smith says, “We have our Chancery Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Sheriff, and Tax Assessor” as well as seats on the school board, two election commissioners, and a few constables.
“We’re not concerned, the Election Commission’s not,” Smith said. “We feel like we’ve done our part.”