Hinds County ballot shortage: "It's inexcusable, and it's agains - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds County ballot shortage: "It's inexcusable, and it's against the law" - Delbert Hosemann

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - It's the 15th amendment to the Constitution, every citizen has the right to vote. In Hinds county, problems at the polls caused many voters to wonder if they were disenfranchised.

The problem many voters ran in to Tuesday was that there weren't enough ballots at the polls for them to vote on. Some people waited hours just to cast a ballot.  Others didn't get to vote at all. Now state election officials say county election officials broke state law.

At the Collins Funeral home precinct, some voters waited over two hours to vote, others didn't get to vote at all, after a ballot shortage shut voting down, shortly after five pm election day. Hind's

County District 4 Election Commissioner Connie Cochran said, "For that I apologize, it's inexcusable, to run out of ballots. An unexpected higher turnout than normal."

State officials say there are safeguards in place to make sure they never run out of ballots, but say election commissioners didn't follow the rules.

"It's inexcusable, and it's against the law," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. "In 2011, we changed the statute so you have to print 75 percent in advance of the election and not at the last second and people are standing in the dark trying to go to work the next day."

County officials say they printed more ballots when they learned of the shortage, but it took time to deliver them.

"I know we're supposed to print 75 percent of the registered voters so we would have had 120 thousand ballots had we ordered, to the tune of $30,000," said Connie Cochran.

County officials say they didn't order the 75 percent of the ballots because they were trying to save taxpayers money.

"The statute is quite clear," said Hosemann. "They're required to print 75 percent. They didn't, so our reports there were multiple locations across Hinds county that didn't have the ballots."

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