Mississippi's top election official, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, was in Meridian on the day of the House District 82 special election to visit voting precincts.
Hosemann talked with poll workers and with voters. While he obviously can't be on hand for every election in the state, he says he does like to visit the precincts during elections to see that things are running smoothly.
"I like to go out to the precincts. I went to a number of different ones around the state last Tuesday," Hosemann said. "Every time there's an election, you learn a lot more by coming and watching that you do trying to get a report."
"I've seen one thing that made me pleased. The elderly gentleman that was here earlier pulled out his voter registration card and showed it to me voluntarily," said the secretary of state. "This lady who was just voting right here was showing her ID card saying 'this is my precinct.' We find that a lot around the state. People are voluntarily identifying themselves. That goes to the voter ID initiative that will be coming up this year, hopefully, whenever we get the necessary signatures."
But there are other things Hosemann says do concern him.
"We collect data on something that has been a bothersome to us, which is this assistance voting," said Hosemann. "People coming in and offering or asking for assistance, or not even asking for assistance, being brought by someone and actually casting their ballot. We're very attuned to assistance issues, and our poll observers are here to watch for those kinds of things."
Although Hosemann said he hoped more voters would turn out before the closing of the polls, he is pleased overall with Tuesday's special election to fill the House seat of the late Rep. Charles Young. The term runs through 2011.