Accusations of voter suppression follow ballot shortage - - Jackson, MS

Accusations of voter suppression follow ballot shortage

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - There is more fallout over the lack of ballots in the Hinds County November 4th elections. One supervisor wants possible legal action.

Hinds County supervisor Robert Grahams said Election Commissioner Connie Cochran's actions were not only negligent but resulted in voter suppression.

Candidates in a runoff also expressed frustration.

"She should be ashamed as an elected official in Hinds County," said Supervisor Graham.

The District 1 representative said he is outraged by the actions and remarks of Election Commissioner Connie Cochran, who admitted she violated state law by not ordering enough ballots for the November 4th election.

"Miss Cochran made inflammatory remarks in the paper yesterday," said Graham. "They were outrageous. They were insensitive, where she alluded to the fact that if it had rained they would have had enough ballots."

Graham said the comments were inflammatory and condescending to voters.

The day after the election, the District 4 Election Commissioner said they were trying to save taxpayer money.

"For that I apologize. It's inexcusable to run out of ballots, unexpected higher turnout than normal," said Cochran.

"I don't know what he wants to investigate. I have already answered all the questions. He has to do what he feels he has to do," Cochran said in response to Graham's accusations.

Candidates in the Hinds County District 3 Judge's race feel the ballot shortage forced their runoff.

"I'm very frustrated because I know people in my neighborhood who did not get to vote by 8:30 p.m., said Hinds County Youth Court Judge Bill Skinner.

He said three boxes were in his district and 100 people at Siwell Middle School waited for a couple of hours without ever receiving a ballot.

"If a person is disenfranchised due to the actions of the election commissioner then that's one person too many," said Opponent Malcolm Harrison.

The former Hinds County Circuit Court Judge said he received reports that at least 10 people in Terry One waited hours for ballots and never received them.

The Hinds County supervisor said he has written to the Attorney General, Secretary of State and spoken with the Hinds County District attorney about conducting an inquiry and may push for imposing sanctions against Cochran.

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