Wearing his Green Bay Packers sweatshirt and with his hair pulled back in a ponytail, James Darby, Sr., sauntered up to the registrar's counter inside the DeSoto County Circuit Clerk's Office and produced his birth certificate, driver's license and other information in order to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

"I've lived in DeSoto County off and on for 35 years," said Darby, who said he moved back to the area to help take care of his 85-year-old mother. "I think everybody should exercise their right to vote. This country is in bad shape and needs a lot of help. I came back from North Carolina where I was living with my brother. I wanted to make sure I was registered. I haven't missed an election since 1983."

Monday was the last day to register to vote in the general election and there was a scurry of last minute activity, according to deputy clerk Becky Smith.

"It's been busy today," said Smith, adding that dozens of individuals had flocked to the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in order to meet the deadline. "We've registered dozens of folks."

"They still keep coming through the door," added fellow deputy clerk Brandi Johnson, who registered Brad Wright, a new resident to DeSoto County.

"I feel it's my right as a citizen to be registered to vote and go out and vote whenever I can," said Wright, who moved to Olive Branch from Murfreesboro, Tenn. after taking a new position with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Memphis. "I voted in Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida and I wanted to make sure that I was eligible to vote here."

DeSoto County Deputy Clerk for Elections Marla Treadway said so far DeSoto County has more than 103,784 registered voters.

"That number will likely change," added Treadway as clerks were busy registering individuals up until the 5 p.m. deadline Monday.

Absentee voting began Sept. 24 and ends Nov. 3 at noon.

"We will be open two Saturdays, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 until noon, here at the courthouse," Treadway said.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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