Hosemann Says Hattiesburg Special Election Marred

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says some poll workers in Hattiesburg failed to follow their training in handling ballots and closing the polls.

By law, the secretary of state provides training for election commissioners, along with election manuals. Election commissioners are responsible for training poll workers.

In a statement Friday, Hosemann said his office addressed every question posed to it by the Hattiesburg election commissioners and offered additional training if they required or requested it.

Hosemann said his agency observers found failure to follow the training provided after the polls were closed.

"These issues include failure to properly seal the ballot box and failure to properly mark absentee ballots. Further, there has also been reported a case of voter impersonation for Hattiesburg municipal voter Marvin Allen. We are compiling all observer reports and will release those to the (Hattiesburg) Election Commission and the public," said Hosemann in a written statement.

The secretary said the proper resolution of all of these issues under Mississippi law now rests with the election commissioners appointed by the Hattiesburg City Council.

Candidates will again have the opportunity to contest or accept any result.

The Hattiesburg Election Commission must certify the results to the Secretary of State by Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5 p.m.

Examination of absentee and affidavit ballots continued Friday. Independent challenger Dave Ware led incumbent Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, by 32 votes on election night, minus the absentees and affidavits.