Election officials across Mississippi are scrambling to get ballots reprinted or add inserts that include the cost to taxpayers for each of three initiatives that voters will decide on Nov. 8. The move comes after the office of state Attorney General Jim Hood called Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office on Friday to say the information should be included on the ballots, as per the state Constitution.
The Mississippi Legislative Office found that there was no financial impact for the personhood and eminent domain initiatives, but a $1.49 million impact for the voter ID initiative. Hosemann’s office reported that it published the statewide ballot to individual counties on Sept. 14, and learned that by Oct. 17, circuit clerks in all 82 counties had developed their ballots and started absentee voting.
Hosemann spokeswoman Pamela Weaver said Wednesday that the office did not yet know how many counties were affected or how much the office would have to reimburse.
In Jackson County, the tab will be about $2,000, said District 1 Election Commissioner Danny Glaskox. Glaskox said the commission typically gets the ball rolling early on election preparation, and this year was no exception. He said he learned about the problem a couple of days ago, when he called to ask a routine question. “We already test more machines than any other county, and this time it bit us,” Glaskox said.