Watchers to monitor flag debate

By Staff
From staff, wire reports
April 14, 2001
Five counties in east central Mississippi are among 50 counties statewide where federal election watchers will monitor voting in Tuesday's state flag election.
Steven R. Cohen, acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said Friday the poll observers would field complaints about election irregularities in Kemper, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee and Scott counties, among 45 others.
Cohen did not say who sought the federal poll watchers nor why they would be on duty as Mississippians cast ballots either to retain the current flag or endorse a new design. Federal poll watchers are not uncommon in Mississippi elections.
Voters on Tuesday will decide whether to readopt the state's 1894 banner with a Confederate battle flag in the canton corner or replace it with a new design featuring 20 white stars.
Other counties where federal poll watchers will be stationed include the following:
Jones, Leake, Leflore, Lowndes, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica, Walthall, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson, Winston and Yazoo.