Call for ballot reform renewed

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann renewed his call for ballot reform Thursday, citing unusually high numbers of absentee ballots cast in some Mississippi primary elections.

Hosemann said 42 percent of the ballots cast in the Democratic primary in Macon were by absentee ballot, an amount much higher than in most cities.

In a news release, Hosemann cited the Macon election and “alleged voting irregularities” in Tuesday’s runoff election in Canton’s Ward 1 alderman race as contests that concerned him. But he said those are not the only races he is watching.

“We’re gathering information now on other cities where we have more than 10-15 percent of their (votes) cast by absentee ballots,” he said. “We’ve been talking about this for the last two years. There is significant absentee ballot fraud in the state.”

State Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Franks said Hosemann, a Republican, is playing politics. “The secretary of state would better serve the people of Mississippi by relating his concerns to the attorney general instead of grandstanding to the press, especially in light of the fact that he offered not one shred of evidence that anything illegal took place in any election,” he said in a statement.