Lawmaker hopes to increase low voter turnout - - Jackson, MS

Lawmaker hopes to increase low voter turnout

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hinds County voters returned to the polls Tuesday in the special election runoff for county attorney, but election officials reported extremely low turnout, which isn't uncommon for runoffs.

One lawmaker hopes bills he is introducing will increase the numbers casting their ballots.

Throughout much of the day, Tuesday poll workers sat waiting for voters.

At Precinct 14, Fondren Presbyterian Church, only eight people had voted by 11:30 in the special runoff is for county attorney.

According to Hinds County election officials, just  6.8% of registered voters cast their ballot in the November 7 election.

There are more than 150,800 registered voters in the county.

State Senator David Blount (D) is working on legislation to address low voter turnout and improve voter participation.

His daughter who is in college has spent $20.00 to receive and notarize ballots for both elections.

"It is very difficult to vote absentee. You have to request a ballot that has to be notarized," said Blount. "Where she lives that costs $5.00 to get something notarized. Then you have to get a ballot. That has to be notarized. that's $10.00. Then you have to request a runoff ballot if you're voting in today's runoff election".

Over the past three years, Blount has also introduced bills addressing, early voting and online voter registration.

He believes making the process more convenient could increase voter participation.       

"What we want is more people to participate in the process while at the same time protecting the integrity of the process and if you have early voting like most states do and you show your ID in the courthouse there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to go ahead and get that vote cast," added the three-term senator.

Blount is working on the legislation. Lawmakers return to the Capitol January 2.

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