OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Voters were up before the sun at the Ocean Springs Armory. They came through the doors intent on making a difference. The hotly contested race for Congress between incumbent Gene Taylor and challenger Steven Palazzo certainly played a role in the heavy turnout.
That's the opinion of poll worker Lorna Martin.
"Yes, I do think there's a lot of interest involved in this and a lot of people feeling their civic duty and they are looking at all of the candidates very carefully," Martin said.
At the Civic Center, the scene was the same. Long lines of voters and lots of activity. The race for Congress was on the minds of many, including William Boyd.
"There's no doubt about it, it's been a very, very exciting race," Boyd said.
There was a steady stream of voters at the Ocean Springs Civic Center all day long, and most said that the topics fueling this turnout are the economy and jobs.
"Trying to get people more jobs," Tadd Hale said. "I've had family members that have been laid off. I work at Northrop Grumman where we are laying off 600 people at a time. We just need to get jobs."
The tough times are on the minds of many voters like June Catchot.
"I just think this is a very important time for all of us, especially here on the coast. We've had so much going on," Catchot said.
Back at the Armory, Pamela Joiner said she shows up for every election, no matter how small. Her reasons for voting may be the best of all.
"As American people, we all need to go out and vote and make sure that our voices are heard, so I believe it's our right," Joiner said.
The polls will remain open until 7pm, and WLOX News will have complete election coverage, both on television and on WLOX.com.