Will Higher Voter Interest Last?

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

The recent election in Mississippi produced a record turnout of 1.2 million voters. But why did do many show interest in the outcome, as opposed to other elections?

"We voted this year, about 63 percent of the people who are on the rolls around the state," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

And that number could grow. Only 14 counties statewide have actually certified the election. Hosemann said the candidates really made a point of inspiring the voter this year.

"I think a lot of people are looking for where we're going as opposed to where we've been," Hosemann said.

President of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, said increased voter turnout is a growing trend of the last several elections here in Mississippi.

"I think the economy plays a part in that, but individuals truly understand the need to exercise their right to vote," Johnson said.

But can the state continue to see a revival of sorts when it comes to getting out the vote? With almost 200,000 new voters this year, the NAACP and the secretary of state's office say 'yes'.

"We were excited to see the attitude of the voter coming to vote," said Hosemann. "They typically took their time. They knew there was going to be a short wait but it didn't take them very long to get through the process."

"I think they've been energized to come out and remain a part of the process," said Yumeka Rushing, coordinator of Protect The Vote. "I think we'll see the newly registered voters out again."

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