HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Thousands of voters are at the polls this morning, eager to cast their ballots in the general election.
At Lyman Community Center in Gulfport, 200 people had already cast their votes by 7 a.m. Election officials say voters began lining up at 6 a.m. outside the community center. Once the doors opened, the voters cast their ballots in the midterms and the judicial races.
At Harrison Central Elementary on Dedeaux Road, hundreds of people waited to vote this morning. More than 400 people had voted by 9 a.m. Early reports from people standing in line said that the voting machines were down. However, election officials tell WLOX that they are short on poll workers but computers are working fine, despite rumors otherwise.
A long line of voters also stood outside Orange Grove Elementary, waiting for their turn to vote. On ballots across Harrison County, people are voting on whether or not pass a school bond referendum.
In Jackson County, long lines of people waited to vote at St. Martin Community Center. By 9:30 a.m., the line stretched all the way out the door the community center. Circuit Clerk Randy Carney said turnout appears to be heavy.
“There was a line at 7 a.m. in Big Point where I vote and that’s unusual in a midterm election,” Carney said.
According to Carney, his office has received a large number of calls from voters asking about where they should and a few reporting glitches after the polls first opened.
One issue was at the Villa Maria polling place in Ocean Springs where election officials say the computers with voter rolls were not properly archived, so some voters were told they had already voted and turned away. Election Commissioner Danny Glascox told WLOX News Now that issue has been resolved, saying some of the archives on the polling machines were not cleaned out.
At the National Guard Armory in Ocean Springs, the precinct director says it has been very steady since the polls opened, with people standing outside all morning. As of 10 a.m., 350 people had noted, which the director says is a very strong turnout for a midterm election.
Hancock County election commissioner Karen Ruhr said they are also having a heavy turnout. By 9 a.m., the Waveland West precinct was reporting 196 voters, which she says is a pretty high number. She says the Lakeshore precinct had 35 early this morning, which was impressive for that precinct.
Nearly 200 people had voted at the Flattop and Pearlington precincts, said Ruhr, adding that Leetown also has had a lot of voters. She says Diamondhead usually has the biggest turnout, but they haven’t received any numbers from them yet.
As far as any issues, she says there haven’t been any problems that have kept anyone from voting. Just normal questions such as where to go, and affadavit voting.
As of Monday, thousands of residents in Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties had cast absentee ballots.
To find your polling location, check to see if you're registered to vote, or look at a sample ballot, click HERE.
WLOX will have reporters spread out across South Mississippi today, bringing updates from the polls. And, beginning at 7 p.m. when the polls close, you can find real-time updates on the election numbers at WLOX.com!