Voter turnout 'low to very good' in South Mississippi

Voter turnout in municipal elections across the Coast this morning are "low to very good," according to city clerk's offices.

The volume of turnout appears to depend, in part, on whether a city has contested races.

No voter or mechanical problems have been reported.

Clerks and election commissioners overall expect a higher turnout in general elections today than in the recent party primaries.

In Ocean Springs, with a hotly contested mayoral race, 814 voters had cast their ballots by 9 a.m.

In Biloxi, also with a contested mayor's seat, initial turnout was low at most polling places downtown. City Clerk Brenda Johnston said an average of 25 voters turned out first thing at the 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B precincts. Around mid-morning, she was heading to Ward 3, where she said contested seats may draw a higher number of voters.

A good turnout has been reported in Gulfport, another city picking a new mayor, though no details were immediately available.

One poll in Pass Christian had a turnout of 85 voters in the first hour, which the clerk's office considered good.

Chipper McDermott, the Republican incumbent, and Chris Boutet, an Independent, are competing for mayor, while alderman-at-large Phillip Wittmann faces fellow Independent Renee Brooks.

A low number of voters have turned out in Long Beach , which has no contested races.

"We aren't expecting a lot of voters," said Deputy City Clerk Stacey Dahl, "but it may surprise us. The day is young."

Moss Point, which also has a mayoral seat up for grabs, reports no problems so far. Its city clerk is making rounds at the polls.

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

Keep checking back at sunherald.com today for updates and election results.