HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Hinds County Election Commission announced on Monday it has been working closely with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, the Hinds County Circuit Clerk, and the county administrator to address concerns regarding the Hinds County voting process and COVID-19.
CHANGES TO VOTING POLL LOCATIONS FOR THE JUNE 23 REPUBLICAN RUNOFF ELECTION
Current recommended guidance from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office and the CDC regarding elections processes is that polling locations housed in nursing homes and senior care facilities be relocated to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Also, as a precautionary measure to further reduce the chances of individuals contracting the virus, there are some local churches that normally provide space for voting precincts that are currently closed to the public.
Therefore, due to these concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hinds County Election Commission has determined the temporary relocation of the following three (3) polling locations is necessary to ensure public health safety during the June 23, 2020 Republican 2nd Congressional District Runoff Election only:
All voters impacted by these changes will receive notification cards via US Postal Mail. Other measure begin taken to inform voters are:
· Signage at the current locations directing voters to the new temporary locations,
· Public Service Announcements and notices through local media, and
· Official Hinds County social media platforms.
The Hinds County Circuit Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to accept Absentee Ballots for individuals who need to vote early or absentee.
In addition, for the upcoming Republican Runoff, voters will be able to vote absentee on Saturday, June 13 and Saturday, June 20.
NOVEMBER 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION READINESS MEASURES IMPLEMENTED
The Hinds County Election Commission, with support from the Board of Supervisors and the Secretary of State, has implemented the following for the 2020 Presidential Election:
1. Each precinct will be provided with Lysol, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes and gloves.
2. Social distancing markers identifying 6 foot spacing will be placed in each precinct
3. The commission has ordered:
a. twenty-five (25) additional voting machines have been ordered through the 2020 HAVA Fund for precincts that traditionally have larger turnouts,
b. over 50k mask to be distributed to voters without masks at all 108 voting precincts,
c. additional tables and chairs to accommodate social distancing recommendations of 6 feet for poll works in each precinct,
d. disposable ink pens to allow one pen per voter when completing their ballot to address cross contamination concerns,
e. disposable towelettes for each voter to sanitizer their voter identification
4. Each poll worker will be provided with a face shield, courtesy of the Secretary of State
5. Utilizing funds provided through the CARES Act, the commission will hire additional workers at each precinct to sanitize before the polls open, every hour during the day, and after polls close.
6. Poll worker training/certification has been moved to online only. All NEW poll workers and those who require training for the November election will be required to complete the online per the election commission’s instructions and guidance.
OFF-PEAK HOURS TO AVOID LARGE CROWDS AT THE VOTING POLLS
Standing in long lines and encountering large crowds can make social distancing difficult. Therefore, the Commission has identified the following off-peak times in Hinds County on Election Day when some voters may prefer to cast their ballots:
· 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
· 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
· 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
By law, the election commission is prohibited from systematic purging within 90 days of any federal election. Systemic purging involved identifying inactive voters and voters who have not casted a vote in two consecutive federal elections. The commission only purges based on death, convictions of disenfranchising crimes and a written request from voters. Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, the final date that a voter can be purged is Wednesday, August 5.
All Hinds County voters are encouraged to immediately contact the Hinds County Election Commission @ 601-968-6555 if they:
· have moved and need to update their address
· need to confirm their voting precinct
· have any questions about the upcoming elections and the voting process.
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