Election officials: Absentee ballots cast could predict Nov. 2nd turnout

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Up for grabs in South Mississippi are a congressional seat and several judgeships among other races. Harrison County election officials say the number of absentee ballots coming in may fore shadow the turnout at the polls in November.

Election Day is a little more than two weeks away but for Amy Snyder and Doris Williams the decisions came early. They cast absentee ballots because on November 2nd they will be working the polls.

"We are not able to leave the polls the day of the election so we come early to absentee so that help us," said Williams.

Congressional and judges races aren't typically big draws in Harrison County. The circuit clerk says usually about 15 percent of the county's 95,000 registered voters cast ballots. With more than 600 absentee ballots cast so far, she's hopeful this time will be different.

"There's been a lot of interest out there now,"said Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker. "People are taking more of an interest with what's been going on in our country and military and there is a lot of interest there so hopefully we will have a larger turnout."

This election season is also inspiring some people who say they haven't voted in years to register.

Clinthea Devillier says for years she felt too busy to vote because she was busy taking care of a family, but now she and her husband are ready to make voting a priority.

"I chose to register because it is my privilege to vote. I need to let my voice be heard," Devillier said.

Snyder and Williams say the word on the street is that the November 2nd election day is going to be a very busy day for poll workers.

"I think it's going to be a buy election also," said Williams. "I can tell by the people talking and also the signs that are going up. They are everywhere. "

Amy Snyder said, "Our precinct, I think it's going to be a really good turn out."

Harrison County officials say voters can cast absentee ballots every week day until October 29th, or on Saturday October 23rd and Saturday October 30th from 8am until noon.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.