MEC Hobnob 2016 Statement from Secretary Hosemann:
Vote. Members of our Armed Forces are Fighting for You to Have the Right.
“Good morning, everyone. It is great to be back with you. You are Mississippi’s business leaders who not only talk about economic development, but actually hire good people to go to work. Job creation in Mississippi starts with you.
This past year has been fast-paced for the Secretary of State’s Office. We have been regulating securities dealers, returning hundreds of tax-forfeited properties to the tax rolls for local communities, increasing penalties for voter fraud, implementing campaign finance reform, and lowering costs for businesses by making our Agency the most technology-friendly Secretary of State’s Office in the Country with the lowest filing fees.
We have been busy. But, not too busy to develop a business tool for you that is unrivaled in any State.
If you have not seen Y’all Business, you are behind in the Mississippi business world.
For Y’all Business, we specifically acquired information for 21 metropolitan areas in Mississippi in all 82 counties. The Secretary of State’s web site now receives 12 million hits per year, with more than 75,000 page views on Y’all Business. People are thinking about investing in Mississippi from all over the United States, and in fact, all over the world.
Much like you do in your business, we start by selling Mississippi’s people and culture. It is an easy sell.
We then provide census data concerning population, age, income levels, the quality of schools, transportation, contact information for each county’s economic development agency, and thousands of other useful detailed statistical information. Y’all Business is a tool for all businesses, but particularly Mississippi’s small businesses.
As you know better than anyone, armed with the appropriate business information, you will make a profitable business decision.
This is why, unlike any other web site in the country, Y’all Business provides detailed consumer data on real estate, income levels, per capita income, and expenditures of every kind and nature. Each county can be analyzed: from how many men and women buy clothes to how many use an ATM, from how many people buy bottled water or purchase an Internet connection to how many buy used automobile parts.
This wealth of information is available to all Mississippians at no cost.
It is free.
I believe, as each of you do, Mississippi businesses can compete with any other business in the world. We are in a worldwide economy and our competition is not only around the corner, but over the ocean and across this Country. This site provides the updated information you need to compete.
Finally, I would like to discuss issues concerning the upcoming Presidential election in Mississippi.
First, I want to make this abundantly clear: Mississippi’s presidential election is not rigged. On Election Day, 10,000 Mississippians will be in precincts protecting your right to cast your ballot. Mississippi has initiated a constitutional Voter Identification requirement and it will be enforced on Election Day. Many other states have been sued or are currently in litigation related to Voter ID. But, not Mississippi.
Now we have a law which is not only sound legally, but has provided more than 5,300 Mississippians who did not have acceptable identification with a free Voter ID card welcoming them to the polls.
There are over 7,000 voting machines which will be deployed on Election Day. None of these are connected to the Internet. The Presidential election is managed by 82 Circuit Clerks, 410 Election Commissioners, and 10,000 trained poll workers. They are human, but they are not rigging Mississippi’s Presidential election.
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office will also be in up to 40 different counties. No precinct in Mississippi will be further than an hour away from a Secretary of State employee. We will be vigilant.
This is not to say there are not attempts to get your personal information from our voter rolls. Our voter rolls contain your name, address, the last four digits of your social security number, and your date of birth. This is all critical information we must protect from criminals attempting to gain access to your financial information.
Last month there were about 5,000 attempts to hack our Statewide Elections Management System (SEMS) containing your critical personal information. I have taken every precaution to prevent illegal access: mirror backup sites, 24-hour review of the database, as well as many other steps.
We will continue to protect your personal information.
One other thing I would like to make perfectly clear. Please do not consider it optional to cast a ballot for President—no matter what you may think of the candidates. There must be at least one choice which will be preferable to you, and you need to make it. That choice will be made at the ballot box.
When you get up on November 8, you should remember many men and women of the United States Armed Forces are also getting up all over the world to give you the 10 minutes you need to drive in your truck to one of the 1,800 precincts in Mississippi. Some of these individuals may not be alive by the time we count the votes. Do not let them down.
Thank you for having me today and I will see you at the polls on November 8th.