Ocean Springs Holds Lone Election

Some voters have already cast ballots in both the primary election and a runoff, making Tuesday their third visit to the city polls.

But those living in Ocean Springs are making their first and final trip to the polling place this week.

This is an unusual year for that city's election.

You'll recall there was a mix-up with the Republican party before the first qualifying deadline. Republican candidates wound up having to qualify and run as Independents in the general election. And since there were no contested races among Democrats, that made the general election vote a "winner take all" proposition.

Ocean Springs voters are choosing a mayor from among five candidates, and deciding seven races for aldermen.

A late morning line of voters kept poll workers busy at the downtown Villa Maria. Voters in Ocean Springs did without a primary or runoff election this year. And that suits voters like Elaine Miller just fine.

"That's great. That is really great. I like it. Yes, I really do. One trip. One vote."

"It's important because the welfare of our community depends on it."

That's why Fred Schumacher and his wife Winnie never miss an election day. As for the unusual one time election this year, it could prove interesting with five candidates for mayor.

"It's exciting. Twenty percent and one vote will do it," said Schumacher.

We found a steady turnout at all three polling places we visited. Four years ago, 38 percent of Ocean Springs voters cast ballots in the general election.

Sharon Sykes wants her young children to understand the importance of voting. She helped them participate in the "Kids Vote" campaign.

"Because if they don't vote, they don't have a voice and then they can't complain. And that's what I want them to understand. If they want some changes they have to come out and vote," Sykes said.

Janet Wilson and her two boys all cast ballots. She's been talking with the children about the various candidates, and explaining the rather unusual single city vote this year.

"Mixed emotions. I kind of like it because it's like everybody's vote really counts. We're not voting twice. You're voting for the guy you really want in. So, it's kind of neat."