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How will Hurricane Zeta impact the 2020 General Election on the Gulf Coast?

Photo by News Mississippi

Hurricane Zeta made landfall on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, causing damage and massive power outages along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

With the in-person absentee voting deadline quickly approaching and Election Day right around the corner, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office is working diligently to ensure local county officials have access to the help they need.

Image courtesy of Secretary of State Michael Watson

Secretary Michael Watson said, “We’ve stressed the importance of teamwork from day one, and it’s paying dividends in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta.  I am proud of the hard work and dedication I’m seeing from our Circuit Clerks, first responders, utility providers, and our office. We will continue working together to make sure Mississippians voices are clearly heard on November 3rd.”

Here is an update from the Secretary of State Elections Division received from Circuit Clerk Offices in the lower coastal counties:

  • George – The Circuit Clerk’s Office has power and is operating as usual.
  • Greene – The Circuit Clerk’s Office is currently without power, but absentee voting is still available.
  • Hancock – The Circuit Clerk’s Office is without power but remains open.
  • Harrison – The Circuit Clerk’s Office is currently without power and will remain closed today so local officials can assess damage from the storm. The Circuit Clerk’s Office in Gulfport is open for absentee voting only. Voters are asked to use the West entrance.
  • Jackson – The Circuit Clerk’s Office has power and is operating as usual.
  • Pearl River – The Circuit Clerk’s Office has power and is operating as usual.
  • Perry – The Circuit Clerk’s Office has power and is operating as usual.
  • Stone – The Circuit Clerk’s Office has power and is operating as usual.

All counties are accessing storm damage at polling places for Election Day (Tuesday, November 3rd).

Officials with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reached out to offer support and will be on standby to respond to any county needing assistance before, on or after Election Day.

Secretary Watson remains in constant communication with leadership at Mississippi Power, Singing River Electric Cooperative Company, Coast Electric Power Association, Entergy, CSpire, AT&T, and Sparklight, and will continue to provide guidance and assistance to county election officials.

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