Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran admitted Tuesday that she broke the law by not ordering the required number of ballots for last week’s general election. Cochran also said that election officials were still tallying affidavits and absentee ballots, and the Hinds County election results would likely not be certified until Friday — the maximum 10 days after the election, as set forth by state law. The secretary of state’s office confirmed that state law requires election commissioners to order enough ballots for 75 percent of registered voters to cast votes. In Hinds County, there are 155,912 registered voters, so the total number of printed ballots required by law was 116,934. Last week, Cochran said she only had 58,350 ballots on hand — less than half of what was required by law.
“If it had rained, we would have been fine, but the weather was perfect, and we had a lot of people come out to vote,” Cochran said. “It’s inexcusable to run out of ballots. All I can do is apologize to people who call and let them know it won’t happen again.”
Cochran, who has held her elected position for 22 years, said each ballot cost 25 cents to print, and if she had printed the required number of ballots, the county would have thrown away about $30,000 in unused ballots.
As of Tuesday afternoon, about 200 Hinds County ballots had not been added to the unofficial totals released last week, including 53 military affidavits and damaged ballots unable to be scanned automatically, 19 affidavits from voters who came to polls without proper photo identification and more than 100 absentee ballots which were not properly accounted for by precinct workers.
Full Article: Hinds election chief broke law, she admits.