Harrison County Polling Places Ask People To Take A Seat

The governor's election is one of the 78 races WLOX News is following on election night. Others include Mississippi's next insurance commissioner. The election of Harrison County's new top lawman. And the Choctaw casino referendum in Jackson County.

So far, voter turnout across south Mississippi is meeting pre-election expectations. If you vote in Harrison County, there's a bit of a twist at most polling places. A voter at the Outside Long Beach precinct got to sit down while she voted.

"I like that a lot better than standing up with that metal thing. I liked it," she said.

Comfort became the name of the game at several Harrison County voting precincts.

"Every time I come, it's different," another voter said. "It's a different way to vote. But I have no problems with that."

For the general election, voters could pull up a chair, grab a pen, and vote.

"It wasn't what I expected, but it was fine. It was easier. Less confusing," a third voter at Outside Long Beach said.

According to Harrison County election commissioners, most of the metal stands they've used for years as voting booths are in desperate need of repair. So they experimented with more cost effective table top dividers, to see if they should replace the aging uprights.

Precinct manager Ester Williams said there was one problem with the concept.

"Nobody told us," Williams said.

So when her DAV precinct poll workers say the wooden divider, "We moved it out of the way, until we needed it. And then when we needed it, we started using it."

Williams said the dividers came in handy when lines at the traditional voting booths got to be too long.

Back at the Outside Long Beach location, poll workers used the contraption, because the dividers were the only device dropped off to provide voting privacy.

"It's working okay. It's just not very private," thought precinct manager Linda Havers.

Any discomfort the poll workers had was offset by the overwhelming support the wooden dividers received from voters.

"I like it," a Bayou View voter said with a smile. "Especially if you've got leg problems. And then I got to just sit there and concentrate and enjoy myself."