This week Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann reported that only about 6,000 absentee ballots had been requested prior to the state’s primary elections for the Third District Congressional seat and U.S. Senate seat, which is currently held by Sen. Roger Wicker. The election for Sen. Cochran’s former seat will not be part of the primary.
“A disappointing number to me, and hopefully not a good indicator of how much we will have,” said Hosemann.
Typically, Mississippi votes within the 20-25% in party primaries.
These elections are not government related, and Hosemann says it should stay that way. These elections are run by the individual parties, however the circuit clerks will be open on Saturday (May 2) during normal working hours for anyone who cannot go vote on Tuesday.
There is potential for run-off’s particularly in the Congressional race, as there are 6 Republican candidates. Hosemann said 26 observers will be located throughout the state at various poling places in different counties. This practice provides information to the Secretary of State’s office on the voting process.
Good news for Mississippi’s voting process came almost a month ago when the state was granted $4.5 million though congressional legislation, for election cyber security. The money will be distributed to counties to maintain electronic voting systems and investing in new or maintenance on voting machines.
“In just the last month there were over 3,000 attempts to penetrate the statewide election management system. We fight this daily. We are cyber secure here,” said Hosemann.
While attempts have been made, none have been successful. Mississippi voting polls are not online, so those who are trying to hack into the system are more than likely seeking voters personal information according to Hosemann. He said the attempts come from all over the world and it is a constant battle.
“Unless the Russians break into every precinct we are probably okay, everyone needs to relax about that. Not one vote has been stolen by a foreign entity (in Mississippi),” said Hosemann.
Hosemann urged for Mississippians to get out and vote because every election counts.
“This just amazes me, y’all…there are men and women who aren’t going to be here for the baseball playoffs, hunting season, football, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter all these things that other Mississippians are doing and they aren’t going to be here. How can you say it’s not important to go cast a ballot? Take five minutes in your truck and go cast a ballot,” said Hosemann