Hinds Co. prepared for Tuesday’s primaries, weeks after theft was reported at Election Commission headquarters

Hinds co. Republican Chairman Pete Perry discusses the upcoming election with a person coming...
Hinds co. Republican Chairman Pete Perry discusses the upcoming election with a person coming to pick up voting materials.(None)
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 4:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Weeks after hundreds of extension cords were reported missing at the Hinds County Election Commission headquarters, officials are hopeful that Tuesday’s primaries will go off without a hitch.

Congressional primaries are slated for Tuesday, June 7. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

“Everything is ready. Everything is prepared. Poll managers are picking up bags now as we speak,” said Election Commission Chair Shirley Varnado.

Varnado was answering calls at the commission’s office Monday, fielding questions from poll workers and voters alike.

“Also, a raise was approved today in the Hinds County Board of Supervisors meeting, so election workers will make another $25, which will make (their salary) $125, and the poll manager will make $150,” she said, “which is past due because they should have (already) gotten one. So that’s a good thing.”

The news is a welcoming sign just weeks after the sheriff’s office opened an investigation into a potential theft at the Commerce Street facility.

Authorities said previously that hundreds of items had come up missing from the office. They included hundreds of extension cords needed to plug in the voting machines, as well as a number of USB cards used to record data from the machines once ballots are cast.

Because those items went missing, the county is sending out just one voting machine to each precinct.

Varnado said the county has other machines prepared and ready to go if any breakdown Tuesday.

“We have other machines that are already prepared and calibrated, and ready to go out,” she said. “We always have extra machines because we know that anything could happen.”

Voters in Hinds County will vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries in U.S. Congressional races. For House District 2, Voters will choose between incumbent Rep. Bennie Thompson and Jerry Kerner in the Democratic primary or Michael Carson, Ronald Eller, Brian Flowers or Stanford Johnson in the Republican primary.

In the Third Congressional District, voters will choose between incumbent Rep. Michael Guest, Michael Cassidy, and Thomas B. Griffin in the Republican primary. Only one candidate in District 3, Shuwaski Young, is seeking the Democratic nomination. His name will appear on the ballot in November.

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