Polling problems resolved for Tuesday's runoff election

Published: Aug. 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - A number of problems arose during the state's primary election three weeks ago.

But one state official says when voters go to the polls during Tuesday's runoff concerns like polling places not opening and names not on the ballots, should not be an issue.  

The complaining started shortly after polls were expected to open for the primary election.

Names were left off numerous ballots, three counties experienced broken machines and some polling places didn't open on time.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says he's spoken to primary election officials and asked that they resolve their polling place issues for the primary runoff.

"We met with them and wrote correspondence to make sure the polls open on time and that they open everywhere, last time we didn't open all of the precincts on time," Hosemann said.

Each precinct is expected to have a number of paper ballots on hand in the event they're needed.

"We want to make sure everyone has enough paper ballots in these precincts in the event one of these machines breaks down," Hosemann said.

Several key races were left off the ballots three weeks ago at the Wynndale Presbyterian Church in Byram.

Hosemann says if something like that were to happen again, a system is in place to get paper ballots to the polling place immediately.

"If somebody calls within 30 minutes, you can have paper ballots there so they may only start with fifty, but they'll have enough there for the future if the machine can't be fixed," Hosemann said.

In the event a voting machine breaks, Hosemann says the state has back-up machines for 77 counties in Mississippi, excluding Hinds County.

"We have back-up voting machines for those 77 counties, Hinds does its own thing, they have their own machines which is different from every other counties machines," Hosemann said.

"Secretary of State Observers" are on duty in 27 counties Tuesday.

Those observers take notes of what goes well and what goes wrong in the precincts.

Next week, Hosemann will review the observer's notes and then compile them for the legislature and the public.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.