Ballots for Hinds County voters who would like to vote absentee were turned over to the circuit clerk’s office Tuesday, more than a week after the state-imposed deadline, the county’s Election Commission chairman says. That, along with cards sent to some residents with incorrect voting locations, hase placed District 3 Election Commissioner Jermal Clark in hot water with county supervisors. Clark was responsible for creating the ballot and meeting a Sept. 22 deadline. When he missed it, concerns immediately were raised that Mississippi members of the military wouldn’t get their absentee ballots by the deadline of 45 days before a federal election. The series of snafus led supervisors Monday to call for a full-scale investigation. “It’s embarrassing that elected officials sworn to uphold the law … cannot work together for the good of the citizens of the county,” said District 3 Supervisor Peggy Hobson Calhoun.
Even late Monday afternoon, it was unclear whether a properly prepared absentee ballot had reached the circuit clerk’s office. “They are not ready yet,” said Deputy Circuit Clerk LaGecha McKinley. “We have the front section completed but not the back.” Said District 4 Elections Commissioner Connie Cochran: “There are still no ballots, as far as I know. We’ve had calls all day with people wanting to vote.”