‘They weren’t lost’: Hinds election commissioner responds to accusations on precinct-counting delays
District 2 Commissioner Toni Johnson calls claims from fellow commissioner ‘false’
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One day after a Hinds County election commissioner blamed another for delays in counting precincts on election night, the elected official targeted by those accusations calls them ‘false’ and the result of a ‘personal grudge’.
District 2 Election Commissioner Toni Johnson took issue with more than one statement her fellow commissioner, Yvonne Horton, said on election night.
Horton told 3 On Your Side that twenty-one precincts were unaccounted for, including seven in Johnson’s district that she had not counted.
“They weren’t lost, they weren’t missing. The other commissioners just failed to open the bags, pull them out, and give them to the technician,” Johnson said.
Johnson called the false statements from fellow commissioner Yvonne Horton the result of a personal grudge.
3 On Your Side asked whether that was connected to indictments against Johnson for embezzlement and bribery during her time as commissioner.
“I’m not gonna speak on any pending legal issues. I’ve been elected to this position, I fulfill my statutory duties,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she filed stalking and harassment charges against Horton last year.
Horton filed a charge against Johnson around the same time -- for simple assault.
On Wednesday morning, Johnson took care of counting her seven precincts instead of doing so election night.
Was that a violation of statute?
Secretary of State Michael Watson said, to his knowledge, it’s not.
“As far as I’m concerned, the ten-day window is the one that means the most,” Watson said.
Watson’s talking about the ten-day deadline to certify the county’s results, which also would include absentee and affidavit ballots.
That’s the same explanation Johnson gave for why she didn’t stay and count those results on election night.
“Hinds County is the largest county in the state. So we have a monster that nobody else faces across the state. So I’ve done this. This is my second term in almost seven years. Nothing unusual about the process of last night and what’s going on this morning,” Johnson said.
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