Voters across Mississippi gathered at the polls to cast their votes in the 2016 Presidential Primary Election Tuesday.
Donald Trump won the Republican primary and Hillary Clinton won for the Democrats.
Clinton won the Lafayette County’s 18 precincts with 64.15 percent of votes while 36 percent landed with Trump.
All five voting locations in Oxford were packed with registered voters, lines stretching outside the buildings.
Jimmie Nell Garrett, box carrier at the Oxford Mall precinct, said this year’s primary was the biggest turnout she had ever seen.
“After working three elections at this location, I have never seen a line outside the door until today,” Garrett said. “This has definitely been the biggest turnout, there hasn’t been a time all day that we haven’t had at least one person in here.”
The Oxford Election Commission Chairman Nell Green said there had only been 300 absentee ballots turned in for the primary vote.
“Based on that, I thought our turnout was going to be low but this was my eighth year working at the election polls and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Green said.
First-time voter and senior marketing major Hayli Kisor said she was excited to express her civil duty for the first time.
“I care about who is running this country, I look for a candidate who has Christian values, honesty, bravery and isn’t succumb to Washington,” Kisor said. “I want a president who stands out because they decide to be different than this world wants you to be.”
Bernie Sanders’ stance on income inequality was a deciding factor in the decision of senior accountancey major Jessica Hinton at the polls.
“I grew up in a low-income household and have witnessed firsthand the effect of income inequality in this country. If it hadn’t been for social programs, my family would not have been able to withstand hardship,” Hinton said. “I believe that Bernie is the man who can unite our country. America is already great, let’s keep it that way.”
Senior marketing major and Cruz supporter Glen O’Reilly had a tough time making his decision on Election Day.
“I voted for Ted Cruz today because I don’t really like what Trump has been doing,” O’Reilly said. “I want a president who is fair, who will strengthen the economy, and bring the country together. But the voting is very lackluster this year, it’s really like voting for the lesser of two evils.”
For many Mississippians, like Jason Shelton, change in the Washington establishment was a major priority in the way voters cast their ballots.
“I like Trump because he’s not an establishment politician. He’s been around the block and he knows what he’s doing,” Shelton said. “I really think he will come through with his policies because he has surrounded himself with political advisors who can help him.”
– Morgan Walker