Ballots ready: Behind the scenes of Democracy in Mississippi

News

Before you head to the polls on Tuesday all 82 county Election Commission offices are working through major preparations to deliver all voter information and ballot machines to their locations. 

In Hinds County 12 News Alex Love got a look at what it takes to get the job done from sorting each bag and delivering.

Well you may not realize it but in a highly populated county like Hinds there’s a lot to sort through no matter what the party affiliate is, and the fairness of our democracy depends on the job done right. 

Red or blue, the ballot bags filled the hallway at the Hinds County Court house as staff members sorted them rapidly to send out. 

“Hours upon hours go into preparing for elections,” Hinds County Election Commissions Chair Connie Little said.  

Over 220 bags will come in and out of the Hinds County Court house over the next 24 hours sorting through roughly 49,000 registered voters. 

“Each bag is labeled according to precincts, and the precinct manager for each precinct comes out to pick up the bags,” Little continued. “So we know who those people are and we give them the right bag for the right precinct according to the manager.”

Being the primaries voters and ballots are separated in blue bags for democrats and red for republicans where the election commission works to keep the shipments process bipartisan and smooth. 

“If there are issues or concerns that they have we bring them to the table and we meet,” Little said. “We come to a conclusion that works for both parties, so that decisions can be made agreeable.”

With fate of a fair and open democracy in their hands, security and accountability to ballot bags is always the number one priority. 

“The bags are sealed and recorded, so we can tell if a seal has been broken or not,” Little explained. “They’re not to be open until they get to the precinct to make sure that each candidate gets their fair share of the votes and what was cast for them.”

Remember to always check the back side of your ballot as well this year as other candidates will be on the other side as well to vote for.

Don’t forget polls open for voters at 7:00 a.m. and will be open for 12 hours, but if you get in line right at 7:00 p.m. you still can cast your vote. 

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