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Secretary of State issues statement regarding Hattiesburg election

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The Secretary of State's Office has issued a statement regarding the Hattiesburg special election.

According to the issued statement, the Election Commission must certify the results of the election to the Secretary of State by Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:00 P. M

The Secretary of State's Office stated in the news release that proper Office training was provided to Municipal Election Commissioners.  According to the statement, state law requires Municipal Election Commissioners to train the poll workers. 

The Secretary of State's Office provided training to Hattiesburg Municipal Election Commissioners on August 28, 2013 and September 13, 2013.  This training is the same training received by Municipal Election Commissioners statewide, according to the issued statement.

The release also stated that if an issue arose from a citizen, the issue was immediately transferred to the Election Commissioners, who were addressing them directly with the Poll Managers.  According to the Secretary of State's office, numerous Federal, State and candidate representatives observed the process.

The statement said that failure to follow the training provided occurred after the polls were closed.  These issues include failure to properly seal the ballot box and failure to properly mark absentee ballots.  Further, there has also been reported a case of voter impersonation for Hattiesburg Municipal voter Marvin Allen, the statement said.

The Secretary of State's office will compile the reports of the observers, and release them to the election commission as well as the public.

The issued statement said that the Attorney General is to answer any election issued raised by the interpretation of State law.  The Election Commissioners are currently corresponding with the Attorney General's Office, according to the Secretary of State's office.

The Secretary of State's office said that the proper resolution of all of these issues under Mississippi law now rests with the Municipal Election Commissioners appointed by the City Council who are and who represent the citizens of Hattiesburg.  The issued statement also said that candidates will again have the opportunity to contest or accept any result.  

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