Heavy voter turnout in Harrison County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Heavy voter turnout in Harrison County

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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Voter turnout has been strong across South Mississippi on this presidential election Tuesday. Many of the precincts reported lines when the polling places opened at 7am.

Presidential elections typically attract large voter turnout and it appears 2012 is no exception. WLOX News found crowds of voters at the polling places we visited.

Four years ago, voter turnout in Harrison County was 61 percent and it may be close to that this year.

Late morning found quite the crowd at Donal Snyder Community Center in Biloxi. Voters stood in line at the ballot box while police officers directed traffic into a busy polling place parking lot.

"It has been a wonderful turnout. We're so thrilled. We've had 978 voters so far and it's only eleven o'clock," said Kay Broussard.

She has been working the polls for some 30 years. Presidential elections seem to always attract voters' attention.

"They've been very patient, standing in double and triple lines," said Broussard.

Voters we talked with don't mind a little wait to exercise their choice.

"Our way to choose our government. Pretty unique in the world," said Jerry Maxwell of Biloxi.

Early afternoon at the D'Iberville civic center was equally crowded.

"'N' through 'R' or 'S' through 'Z,'" said the poll worker, directing the crowd outside the front door.

"So, you check in and then you sign for your ballots," said Holly Bourgeois.

After she cast her ballot Tuesday morning, Bourgeouis saw the poll workers could use an extra hand.

"Everything was running smoothly. But it was so many people that I decided that once I voted, I was going to come and help. And it's been non-stop," she explained.

A sudden glitch with a scanner machine forces the use of an "emergency bin" to hold the ballots. While voters waited with completed ballots in hand, a technician tried to troubleshoot.

"See, it won't take it. It's not doing anything," said the poll worker.

The M-100 has quit working.

"Which is the scanner for the ballots. Went down. So, we're using the emergency bin. And when the tech comes back with a new one, then we'll run them through the scanner. And everybody's ballot definitely will count," said Election Commissioner Toni Jo Diaz.

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