A judge has ruled that all precincts in Hinds County can remain open until 8 p.m. due to an unexpected influx of voters that caused many locations to run out of ballots.
According to District 1 Hinds County supervisor Robert Graham, Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas issued an emergency ruling to keep the precincts open one hour later than normal following a motion filed by the Mississippi Democratic Party.
“A number of precincts in Hinds County ran out of ballots during election day and are continuing to run out of ballots and others may run out going forward,” an excerpt of Thomas’ injunction reads. “It takes time to deliver more ballots to the precincts. Because of the disruption this has caused, the court grants the motion of the plaintiff to extend the closing hours in Hinds County from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.”
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office released the following statement about the situation in Hinds County:
“The Secretary of State’s Office is aware of ballot availability issues at Hinds County precincts. While our office has no statutory authority to print nor distribute ballots to counties, we have been in constant communication with the local officials to assist in relaying complaints from our Elections Hotline and have dispersed poll observers to the area.
For the General Election, Mississippi law charges counties to print 60% of the active voter count. County officials then decide how to distribute ballots among precincts. While we are happy to assist in any capacity, specific questions related to ballot distribution should be directed to the Hinds County Election Commission.
Further, the Secretary of State’s Office does not have statutory authority to extend polling hours. All voters in line at the closing of the polls are legally entitled to cast a ballot.”
Polls in all other Mississippi counties will close at 7 p.m. as regularly scheduled. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. is legally allowed to cast a ballot. Keep up with election results as they come in by clicking here.
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