The Hinds County supervisors are calling on the local district attorney and the state attorney general to sanction the county election commission for failure to order the number of ballots state law requires for the Nov. 4 general election. Despite only one-third of the county’s 156,000 registered voters going to the polls for the mid-term election, some precincts did have unexpectedly high turnout. Some of those polling places ran out of ballots late in the evening, which touched off a mad scramble to print more. Agitated by the long waits, some voters left without casting their ballots. Later, Connie Cochran—the chairwoman of the Hinds County Election Commission—admitted that the commission failed to follow a state law mandating that enough ballots be printed for 75 percent of registered voters. Cochran took responsibility for making the call to save the county money.
“There’s always going to be some issue because there is no perfect election,” Cochran told the Jackson Free Press in an interview last week, adding that meeting the 75-percent requirement would have been tantamount to “wasting taxpayer money.”
Cochran’s admission brought a torrent of criticism from local officials, as well as Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who singled Hinds County out as one not-so-bright spot on an Election Day that otherwise went smoothly throughout the rest of the state.
Pieter Teeuwissen told supervisors that Cochran’s statements to local media would likely result in legal action. He cited a state law that makes violating state-election requirements a misdemeanor.