Election commissioner fears new voting machine delivery company can’t handle the job

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:09 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - With nearly three weeks until the November elections, Hinds County election commissioners are worried about the delivery of voting machines.

A new company, that has not transported the equipment, won the bid and election officials fear a repeat of last year’s delivery issues.

“It’s gonna be done by a company that’s never done this before,” said Hinds County Election Commissioner Yvonne Robinson Horton told supervisors Monday.

The District Four commissioner warned supervisors that they are concerned that voting machine deliveries could end in what she called a catastrophe like during the 2021 special election.

Horton said commissioners are apprehensive about Special Teams Moving and Delivery receiving the contract because this would be the first time delivering voting equipment. The company was the lowest bidder at $28,000.00.

“I’m not saying that they can not do this. I’m not saying that at all, but I know it’s not quite as easy as it appears to be,” said Horton. “There’s a lot of difference in delivering a room of furniture and delivering voting locations.”

Voting equipment from ballot scanners, express voting machines for the disabled, and limited mobility machines must be transported to the 108 precinct-specific locations.

According to Horton, in 2021 Terry Installation was awarded the contract but stopped during the delivery process. Professionals on Wheels stepped in to complete the work.

“I will take responsibility 100 percent if something is wrong with these machines because at some point we have to follow the law like we follow the law on the bidding process on this,” Hinds County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones told the Board of Supervisors.

Special Teams Co-owner Jason Wells declined to comment. Horton would like to see a more specific bid process for moving voting equipment in the future.

The election commission also wants to remind voters that the Siwell Middle School precinct is closed permanently and voting will take place at nearby Tabernacle Ministries Church.

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