Mississippi Secretary of State Office’s gives update on 2020 election

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Election Day, the Mississippi Secretary of State Office’s received more than 1,300 calls from voters with election-related questions or reports of minor problems at polling places. Other than longer, unexpected wait times due to high voter turnout, no major, statewide issues were reported to the office.

I cannot say enough about the perseverance, flexibility, and commitment from our Circuit Clerks, Election Commissioners, and poll managers on Election Day. They did something their predecessors never had to worry about: execute a General Election in the middle of a global pandemic. Let’s also not forget about our election officials along the Coast who had to couple the stress of the pandemic with the aftermath of a Category 2 hurricane. While some may view the long lines on Election Day as troublesome, I view it as a win for our county election officials, an encouraging display of civic engagement, and an opportunity to strengthen our state’s voting process.

As all of us debrief the 2020 Election Cycle, I’m seeing and hearing countless suggestions about ways to improve our voting system. Before any changes are made, it’s essential to receive input from the individuals engaged in the election process. Whether it’s introducing new technology, adding additional machines within precincts and/or additional precincts, adding more poll managers, increased training, or more voter education, Clerks, Commissioners, and legislative leaders should have a seat at the table. Earlier this year, I made a commitment to meet and have in-depth discussions with Clerks and Commissioners in all 82 Counties. As of today, we’ve met with 26 counties and received beneficial feedback and ideas regarding our state’s overall election process. I look forward to continuing these discussions and brainstorming ways to make it as easy as possible for all legally-registered Mississippi voters to cast their ballot, while maintaining a sharp focus on upholding the integrity of the process.

Michael Watson, Secretary of State (R-Miss.)

Below is information regarding the implementation process for Initiative 65/Alternative Measure 65A, House Concurrent Resolution 47, and the State Flag Referendum.

  • Initiative 65/Alternative Measure 65A
    • The Secretary of State’s Office has 30 days from Election Day to certify results from the 2020 General Election. Pursuant to Section 23-17-41 Miss.Code Ann., “an initiative approved by the electors shall take effect thirty (30) days from the date of the official declaration of the vote by the Secretary of State, unless the measure provides otherwise.”
  • House Concurrent Resolution 47
    • The Secretary of State’s Office has 30 days from Election Day to certify results from 2020 General Election. Once all results are certified and if the amendment received a majority of the vote required by the Constitution, the amendment will be inserted in the State Constitution through a proclamation from our office.
  • State Flag Referendum
    • The Secretary of State’s Office has 30 days from Election Day to certify results from 2020 General Election. Once all results are certified and if a majority of the qualified electors voted  “Yes,” to the proposed design, then “the Legislature shall enact into law the new design as the official Mississippi State Flag during the next regular session of the Legislature after the election.” (Pursuant to House Bill 1796)

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