Hosemann met with media representatives Wednesday in Jackson to emphasize the importance of voting. He said that absentee ballot requests are up all over the state. “Harrison (counties), are up. The Delta is up. The Delta is up. He provided numbers that showed that the number of absentee votes requested in the 2014 mid-term was 25,395, compared to the 50,571 this year. These requests are still far below what would be expected in a presidential election year. 2016 was an example of this. In 2016, voters requested 111.967 absentee votes. Hosemann also said that new voter registrations are a sign of voter interest compared to 2014’s midterm year. These numbers show that Mississippi doesn’t have to be excused from early voting. People who are unable to travel to the polls between 7 AM and 7 PM on Election Day due to job commitments or being away from home or hospitalized, can still vote early. You can vote absentee at your local circuit clerk’s office by noon Saturday. Mail-in ballots must reach the circuit clerk’s office no later than Friday, November 5, at 5 p.m. Mississippians will vote Tuesday for two U.S. Senators. In the regular election, Roger Wicker, an incumbent Republican, will be running against David Baria. The ballot will also include third party candidates, Danny Bedwell (Libertarian) and Shawn O’Hara (Reform Party candidate). To fill the March retirement of Senator Thad Cochran, a special Senate election is also being held. This is for health reasons. Cindy-Hyde Smith was appointed by Gov. to replace Cochran as interim replacement. Phil Bryant is being challenged by Chris McDaniel, a fellow Republican, and Democrats Mike Espy (and Tobey Bartee) as well. The four candidates for the special election will all appear on one ballot, with no party identification. The conventional wisdom says that Democrats must win in heavily Democratic counties like the Mississippi Delta or Hinds County, where Jackson is situated. GOP slap each other to boost enthusiasm. Dems look at younger voters and black turnout in Washington, one the largest Delta counties. As of Wednesday morning, 817 absentee ballots were requested and 643 returned. Hinds, which is the state’s largest county, requested 2,740 absentee ballots and had 1,181 of them returned. Of the 50,571 absentee votes requested in Mississippi, 39,616 had been returned. Hosemann stated that generally, 4 to 5 percent of Mississippi’s total voters vote by absentee ballot. Based on the return of absentee ballots, these numbers indicate that there will be just 800,000 voters voting Tuesday. However, the number of absentee votes completed and returned will increase significantly before the deadline. The drop in the number of voters voting in presidential elections has been significant in past elections. In the 2014 midterm, 631,858 people voted, compared to 1.21 millions in the 2016 presidential election. Hosemann encouraged people to vote by stating that his recent visit to the Middle East to meet Mississippi military reservists stationed in the region renewed his passion for voting. He stated that if any of you were with him on his Middle Eastern trip, “not a single one of you wouldn’t cast a vote after seeing their professionalism and what they do.” Tuesday’s ballot will include the four congressional seats and the judicial candidates. 2018 Mississippi Voting by district Hosemann cited interest “to the issues and the candidates” for Tuesday’s election. He also pointed out that President Donald Trump was in Mississippi to campaign for Hyde-Smith and Wicker.