Familiar faces greet South Mississippi voters at local precincts

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While the results of today’s primaries are still uncertain, some things remain the same such as familiar faces at some of South Mississippi’s most popular precincts.

News 25’s Toni Miles takes us behind the scenes at the precinct located at the Donal Snyder Community Center where at least two poll workers have put in 20 years or more working elections.

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South Mississippians filed into the Donal Snyder Community Center in Biloxi as voting got underway Tuesday. Poll manager Sally Romero knew many voters by first name.

Not surprising considering 2020 marks Romero’s 20th year working at this precinct. It’s a job she takes seriously and one that’s always changing. “When I first started voting, we tallied everything. That was many years ago.”

Romero is surrounded by experienced poll workers, some with several years’ experience, one man with more than two decades working this precinct. And who better to gauge the first few hours of Tuesday’s voter turnout? “It hasn’t been heavy, but steady. The weather’s cooperating beautifully.”

What matters most on this day is the vote, each and every one, as Romero and others in this area witness during the historic District 50 Senate race in this area. “Just in recent years we found out that just one vote is very, very important, and if you really care, you will come out and vote.”

Romero and other poll workers will be here on March 31st if there’s a need for a runoff and on November 3rd for the general election. “We’re here to help you in any way we can. There are rules and laws that change yearly. We go to school every year. We learn those rules and try to abide by them. We take an oath every morning before we start the polls that we will not attempt to aid, guide or in any way – except expressly by law.”

There’s one thing poll workers say you can count on here, that each and every vote counts and is counted properly.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!