Low turnout reported in municipal primaries statewide

Turnout was low statewide for Mississippi's municipal primaries.
Turnout was low statewide for Mississippi's municipal primaries.(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office received reports of low voter turnout for Tuesday’s municipal primary elections statewide. Call volume into its Elections Hotline also remained low, with most calls relating to polling place locations and campaigning.

The only statewide issue reported to the secretary of state was campaigning too close to precincts. In Mississippi, it is unlawful to campaign for any candidate within 150 feet of any entrance to a polling place unless on private property. Pollbook issues were reported in one municipality.

Several complaints came in regarding a few municipalities requiring voters to perform temperature checks before entering a precinct.
Under Mississippi’s administrative rules, “a person wishing to vote shall not be denied entry to the location for failure to wear a face mask or failure to submit to a temperature check upon entry to cast his/her ballot.” Secretary of State Michael Watson said his office reiterated this rule to the municipalities reported, and the issue was quickly resolved.

“We had over 15 dedicated public servants from our office traveling to various precincts around the state yesterday,” said Watson. “We want Mississippians to know we are actively watching to make sure our election laws are being followed and properly administered so they can have confidence in our election system. A huge thanks goes out to the wonderful poll managers and Municipal Clerks, without whom our municipal elections would be impossible. We will continue following up on any irregularities reported to our office in an effort to continue refining and strengthening Mississippi’s elections.”

Municipalities have until April 16th to send certified results from primary elections to the secretary of state. Certified results will be posted on the Elections Results tab of the secretary of state website. All municipal primary runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, April 27th, and General Election Day is Tuesday, June 8th. For sample ballots or more information regarding the upcoming races, please contact your Municipal Clerk’s Office.

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

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