Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson could barely get through an interview without the phone ringing or a voter needing assistance.
"It has absolutely been wild," Johnson said. "It has been one of those. We didn't anticipate this type of
turnout at all."
This wasn't anticipated because Lauderdale County only had one contested race. And that race wasn't expected to be a close one.
"The District 3 Congressional race is the only thing that has opposition. All of our judges are unopposed and your school board positions are unopposed, so people are doing the right thing and showing up at the polls today. And I think the poll workers are thrilled too," said Johnson.
"Been out this morning checking most of the precincts finding out what kind of issues they had and talking about training," said District 1 election commissioner Wallace Heggie. "And it has been a good turnout, probably about four times greater than expected."
Not even the day's rain kept voters at home. As for why this election has seen strong turnout, election officials can only guess.
"We think the national publicity leading 'get out the vote' type positive attitude and a lot of young people who have registered," said Johnson. "We are just floored today that it is going to be this type of turnout."
"I think it's just all the media attention that's been given nationwide to the elections and people have just heard a lot about it from TV and radio and everywhere you turn," said District 2 election commissioner, Rod Amos.
There was some confusion when it came to precinct locations. But the changes were publicized. Johnson says letters were sent out informing voters of the changes earlier in the year, so there shouldn't have been any surprises.
Posted: 08/20/2013 - Gov. Phil Bryant has set the date for a new mayoral election in Hattiesburg.
Posted: 08/11/2013 - Ware asks judge to make him Hattiesburg mayor.