HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — Mississippi Secretary of State has concerns about low voter turnout for the upcoming elections and he speaks about why voting is so important.
“The individual decisions on how you live everyday are made here in the municipal elections. The mayor and the alderman make those,” said Hosemann.
Five days out from Hattiesburg’s primary elections, city clerk Kermas Eaton says numbers are low for absentee ballots.
“As of April 28th, we have approximately 87 people who have voted absentee,” said Eaton. “And that number is definitely low from what we’re used to, but I think before Saturday at noon more people will come in and vote.”
Hosemann questioned why people aren’t voting right here in their city.
“They make the decision about whether or not your water works right, your street is functional, police protect you or that you don’t get your valuables stolen. Those kind of things are made at the local level not in the Mississippi legislature,” he expressed. “So to me they’re as important or more important on a day-to-day basis then than the bigger decisions that the legislature may make for the entire state.”
During the last election, the first results were thrown out due to voting irregularities such as voter fraud and ballot boxes not fully locked. A special election was held three months later where Mayor Dupree won.
“We don’t want to do that again. The first general election needs to be the only general elections,” said Hosemann. “We need to make sure that the individual poll workers are trained, that everyone has a voter I.D. with them when they come in, so we know who they are.”
Also, Hosemann stress how low voting numbers also effects the economic of the city’s developmental growth.
“If you don’t have good leadership you’re not going to have anybody to start a business here. We’ve got just as many people here in the state who are educated in the work force. So we need the community support and that’s apart of who you are electing in municipals.”
The last day to submit an absentee ballot is Saturday at Noon.
Primary elections will be held on Tuesday, May 2nd and the generals on Tuesday, June 6th.