The Jackson Free Press is hearing about a number of Election Day issues that seem to be associated with the use of new voting machines. This morning, the Jackson Free Press received a tip about issues at Ward 7’s Precinct 97 in south Jackson, located at the Wahabi Shriners, 4123 Interstate 55 S. The precinct is supposed to have one voting machine to read hand-marked ballots and count the votes. The machine, which poll workers said was scheduled for delivery at 6:15 a.m., didn’t show up until 8:43 a.m., nearly two hours after the polls opened. And then it didn’t work. In April, after a months-long process, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors agreed to a $1.2 million five-year contract with Electronic Systems and Software for new voting machines. Headquartered in Omaha, Neb., ES&S also holds a contract with the Mississippi secretary of state to facilitate overseas and military voting.
Jackson municipal Clerk Brenda Pree said through a news release that the voting machines are “the nation’s most widely used paper-based digital precinct scanner with more than 15,000 units in use.”
Poll manager Jessie Tyler, who has volunteered at the polls for 20 years, added that elections usually come off like clockwork at precinct 97. “When you change something, you have to get the kinks out,” Tyler said.