Registered voters who aren't voting waste taxpayers' money, election commissioners say

WJTV Staff - HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) - A run-off election is coming up in Hinds County, and election commissioners are working to prepare.

Officials say registered voters who don't turn out have been wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars.

"For a countywide election including ballots, delivering machines, training, maintenance, we're looking at between $80,000 to $100,000," District 2 Election Commissioner Toni Johnson said.

The run-off election for Hinds County Attorney is scheduled for November 28th.

"[I] can't tell you which way to vote, but your vote needs to count. Because these are tax payer dollars, so whether you vote or not we're having to spend the money," Johnson said.

By law, all 110 precincts must have 5 poll workers. Each worker makes between $120 and $140 each election.

Commissioners also have to order enough ballots for 60% percent of the registered voters. But for the most recent special election, not even a fourth of registered voters participated.

On the November 7th special election, only about 10,00 people voted in Hinds County. But the county still has to pay for, according to Johnson, about $80,000 blank ballots to be stored for two years.

Each ballot costs 25 cents. So that's about $20,000 headed to storage to collect dust.

"We also keep the poll books and the signature receipts for two years, just in case a challenge or any discrepancies with the election. We're actually in the process of asking the county for additional space," Johnson said.

Fewer people typically vote in run-off elections. But Johnson hopes that when people hear the cost, they'll vote.

Absentee ballots can still be filed for the November 28th run-off. The circuit clerk's office will be open on Saturday at noon.


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