At least 9 precincts in majority-Black Mississippi county ran out of ballots, per reports
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was reelected on Tuesday, a Republican win that comes after a close race and reports of ballots running out at least nine precincts in a majority-Black county.
Newsweek reported widespread accounts of polling stations running out of ballots in Hinds County, Mississippi’s most populous county, resulting in some residents waiting several hours to cast their votes. The lack of ballots prompted Hinds County Chancery Judge Dewayne Thomas to order polls to remain open for an extra hour after the state Democratic Party filed a lawsuit.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Hinds County is 73.5 percent Black and traditionally votes Democratic.
“A number of precincts in Hinds County ran out of ballots during election day and are continuing to run out of ballots and others may run out going forward,” wrote Thomas. “It takes time to deliver more ballots to the precincts. Because of the disruption this has caused, the Court grants the motion of the Plaintiff to extend the closing hours in Hinds County from 7 PM to 8 PM.”
Ross Adams, who works for the local network WAPT News, recorded ballots running out at five locations in Clinton and one in the neighboring city of Bolton, according to Newsweek.
Brendan Hall from WLBT News garnered over 1.2 million views with footage of a massive line of voters queuing in the dark outside Wildwood Baptist Church — one of the locations Adams visited — posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“Some voters who just cast their ballot [at Wildwood Baptist Church] had waited for 2 and a half hours,” Hall shared. “I’m told this polling location has run out of ballots at least 5 times and have been restocked w/ less than 100 ballots every couple hours.”
“I believe that the Secretary of State’s office and county elections office were simply not prepared for the overwhelming, amazing turnout we are seeing in Hinds County,” Hinds County Democratic Party Executive Committee member Jason McCarty told CNN, noting that voters cast their ballots at precincts in other counties with no significant issues.
TheGrio contacted Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, a Republican in charge of regulating elections, via the online contact form on his official website. We also reached out to the campaigns of Reeves and his Democratic opponent, Brandon Presley. None have responded thus far.
Presley, a second cousin of music legend Elvis Presley, aspired to become Mississippi’s first Democratic governor in 20 years.
Before the election, Reeves got video support from former president and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who said: “Joe Biden wants to put his candidate, and this is his candidate, Brandon Presley, in as Mississippi’s governor,” dissuading some Mississippians from allowing such a move.
Despite Presley’s best efforts and enormous support, Reeves reportedly received 52 percent of the vote against Presley’s 46.6 percent, with 86 percent of the votes calculated. Presley ultimately conceded, extending well wishes to his opponent via X.
“While tonight’s result wasn’t what we wanted, I’m more confident than ever in our people,” Presley shared, according to Newsweek. “May God bless Gov. Reeves in his victory and this great state.”
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