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Hosemann predicts strong voter turnout

(AP) — Mississippi’s top elections official is predicting strong voter turnout as people statewide choose two U.S. senators.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Wednesday that nearly twice as many people have requested absentee ballots this year than during the last federal midterm election in November 2014.

“It looks like we’re going to have a record turnout for a (midterm) election,” Hosemann said.

He said 50,571 absentee ballots have been requested this year, compared with 25,395 four years ago. Absentees usually account for 4 percent to 5 percent of the overall number of ballots cast in Mississippi, he said.

In addition to the two Senate races, there is a race in each of the four U.S. House districts. Nonpartisan judicial races are also on the ballot.

Absentee voting in circuit clerk’s offices ends at noon Saturday, and absentee ballots returned by mail must be received by Monday.

Regular in-person voting is 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, and voters will need to show a driver’s license or another type of government-issued photo identification at the polls.

It’s unusual for any state to have two U.S. Senate races in a single year.