State Politics

Russian hackers out of luck, Hosemann says

Russians won’t steal Mississippi’s election, Hosemann says

The presidential election according to Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann
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The presidential election according to Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann

The Russians will not steal any votes in Mississippi and the presidential election is not rigged, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann assured voters during a press conference Wednesday at his office in Gulfport.

Hosemann did remark that it is the most unusual election he’s seen.

The voting machines are not connected to the internet. The Russians are not going to steal your ballots.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann

“I don’t think I’ve ever faced all of the things that are going on,” he said as he talked about how voters are negative about both candidates.

He shared emails he received with claims the voting is rigged and that voting machines “have been compromised in the past, and are easily compromised by foreign governments.”

“The voting machines are not connected to the internet,” Hosemann said. “The Russians are not going to steal your ballots.”

Votes are saved on a card at the polling place.

“They never touch the internet until the results are posted to us,” Hosemann said.

Fewer people have registered to vote by absentee ballot in this election (82,757 as of Wednesday morning) than four years ago (106,000), he said. An average of 5 percent of voters cast their vote by absentee ballot.

Those who have had a change of heart since they cast their absentee ballot can still change their vote, Hosemann said.

They must go to their regular polling place Tuesday and tell the poll workers they voted by absentee ballot. The absentee ballot will be voided and the person then can vote the usual way. Hosemann said Mississippi is one of a few states to allow this, and said he thinks it’s a good idea, especially with the 24/7 news cycle.

Mississippi isn’t among the states that allow online voting.

“I’m not confident that online voting is sufficiently secure,” Hosemann said.

He’s heard reports that violence may break out after the election, but said it isn’t expected in Mississippi and won’t be tolerated.

In an election primer, Hosemann said:

▪ Those who support Bernie Sanders or any other candidate can’t write in that person’s name. They must choose from those listed on the ballot.

▪ No selfies or other photos will be allowed inside the polls.

▪ Vote and leave. Only those who are certified to be there can stay inside the polling place.

▪ In-person absentee ballots must be cast in the circuit clerk’s office by noon Saturday.

▪ Mail-in absentee ballots must be received no later than 5 p.m. Monday.

▪ Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

▪ Bring voter ID.

Three polling places have changed in South Mississippi:

▪ Those who voted at 1636 Popp’s Ferry Road in Biloxi now vote at First Baptist Church Biloxi, 1560 Popp’s Ferry Road.

▪ Those who voted at 166 Veterans Ave. in Biloxi now vote at the F&AM Masonic Lodge, 289 Veterans Ave., Biloxi.

▪ Those who voted at the Saucier Community Center now vote at 24014 Church Ave., Saucier.

Mississippi election by the numbers

1.86 million registered voters

2.26 million Mississippians are of voting age

1,800-plus polling places

410 election commissioners

82 circuit clerks

10,000 poll workers

99 percent plus of Mississippi voters show up with ID cards

4,000 to 5,000 attempts are made a month to hack into the voter rolls, none successfully

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann

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