National Election Commissioners Come To Hancock County

Hancock County election officials are concerned about how people will cast their ballots.

"Our biggest problem right now is since we're using new machines that we never have used before, we don't have the supplies," said Hancock Co. district 3 election commissioner Gary Gilmore.

Secretary of State Eric Clark along with two members of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission met to talk about these and other voting issues.

"It's our job to take a look at what's going on out there and to get on the "bully pulpit" if you will, and do what we can to help improve elections in this country," said U.S. Election Assistance Commission member Ray Martinez.

Election commissioners of Hancock and Harrison counties made up most of the audience, addressing such concerns as losing experienced poll workers during a time they are needed most, and preparing for large numbers of absentee ballots.

All of this preparation requires money - money that South Mississippi cities do not have.

And that's why Secretary of State Clark says this meeting was so important.

"Now Senator Lott has sponsored a bill that has passed the U.S. Senate, Bill 2166, that would earmark 50-million dollars for those states that were hurt by the hurricanes last year- Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. Specifically to help us rebuild our elections, but these men are going to go back to Washington and advocate for help to get us ready to hold our elections," said Clark.

And these national commissioners say they will fight for South Mississippi to receive more funding to hold fair elections.

Election commissioner Gary Gilmore says if you live in Hancock County, there will not be any change in your regular voting place.

Even though the building where you usually vote may be gone, a trailer will be in its place.