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Secretary of State Provides Post-Election Day Update

Photo by News Mississippi

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office fielded approximately 430 calls to the Elections Hotline during Tuesday’s Municipal General Election Day. Most of the calls related to mask requirements, affidavit ballots, and weather conditions for precincts in north Mississippi.

Additionally, the Cybersecurity team detected no abnormal activity on Secretary of State websites or the Statewide Election Management System (SEMS) during Election Day.

“Overall, we had a rather smooth General Municipal Election Day,” said Secretary Michael Watson. “The credit belongs to the municipal clerks, election commissioners, and poll managers who worked tirelessly to make sure Mississippians’ voices were heard.”

Watson continued by saying, “I also need to thank Kyle Kirkpatrick and his crew in our Elections Division, and Mark Scutch and his crew in our Technology Services Division for manning the phones and IT systems to assist the numerous calls for assistance we received. We’ll be following up on each allegation to make sure they, if proven to be true, are prosecuted to the fullest extent by the local District Attorneys.”

Tuesday afternoon, reports of the following allegations were received:

  • Voters were not required to sign a receipt book for a portion of Election Day;
  • Managers failed to initial ballots at a polling place for a portion of Election Day;

Election allegations previously reported:

  • Absentee ballots not available for the full absentee voting period in a municipality;
  • An absentee ballot box left unsealed for an undetermined amount of time;
  • A Municipal Clerk did not provide absentee ballot applications;
  • Voters barred from a polling place for not wearing a mask;
  • Violations of election laws

The Secretary of State’s office said all issues reported were referred to the proper authorities, including the Attorney General’s Office or appropriate District Attorney’s Office.  The Secretary of State’s office has no enforcement authority.

General Election Day marked the conclusion of the 2021 Municipal Election Cycle. The candidate with the most votes, not the majority, shall be declared the winner of each race. In the event there is a tie between two or more candidates, “the election shall be decided by a toss of a coin or by lot fairly and publicly drawn under the direction of the election commissioners.” (Miss. Code. Ann. § 23-15-611 (West))

Any voter who cast an affidavit ballot on Municipal General Election Day because the voter did not have an acceptable form of photo ID must visit their local Municipal Clerk’s Office by Tuesday, June 15, 2021, to show an acceptable form of photo identification. 

Municipalities have until June 18th to send certified results from general elections to the Secretary of State’s office. Certified results will be posted on the Elections Results tab of the Secretary of State’s website.

For more information about state election laws or Mississippi elections, visit Y’all Vote or call the Elections Division Hotline at 601-576-2550.

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