Voter apathy baffles those who care

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It comes as no surprise that state officials are saying that voting was light in Mississippi's Democratic and Republican primary runoffs.

Most nominees were decided three weeks ago. Each party has one statewide race on Tuesday's ballot.

But that didn't seem to inspire many South Mississippians to get out and exercise their right to vote.

Democrats are choosing a nominee for Governor. Republicans are choosing one for treasurer.

Democratic poll worker Laquestra Golden said, "We're hoping more people would come out."

Poll worker Sally Romero seemed disappointed in most of the GOP's 1,700 registered voters in her Gulfport precinct.

Sally Romero said, "It's been very slow, very slow; we've had so far 185 vote in the republican side, and I think maybe they have 20 on the other side."

Both parties have runoffs for several legislative and county races. Winners advance to the November 8th general election. But it doesn't seem to have stirred much interest in voters, even some just inches away from ballots.

Romero said, "We had a lady here a while ago, that was exercising over there, and she was so proud of the fact that she had never voted in her life. I couldn't believe; I just couldn't believe it."

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and Clarksdale attorney and developer Bill Luckett are in the Democratic runoff for governor. The winner faces Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant of Brandon and others, in November. Joseph and Esther Peters wouldn't miss a chance to help decide who their next Governor will be.

Eighty-six-year-olds Joseph & Esther Peters said, "We don't miss any; we never miss an election. We always vote!"

It seems the elderly were the only group to came out in force for this runoff election where a lot is on the line. Poll workers from both sides are saddened by the apathy of younger generations who just don't seem to understand what a privilege it is to vote.

Laqueta Golden said, "I can't explain it; I just think it's unfortunate."

Romero said, "I don't know; I don't understand it. I just don't understand it."

Also on the ballot Tuesday was State Personnel Board Director Lynn Fitch of Madison and State Senator Lee Yancey of Brandon are in the Republican runoff for treasurer. The winner faces Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran.

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