1000s of Vote Forms Sitting in Circuit Clerk's Office | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

1000s of Vote Forms Sitting in Circuit Clerk's Office

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Thousands of voter registration forms marked "need to be scanned" sit in the Hinds County Circuit Clerk's office on Election Day 2012.

— Five large boxes containing thousands of valid voter registration forms are piled in a corner of the Hinds County Circuit Clerk's office.

Marked "Need to be scanned," the pile of paperwork provides some answers to questions about in-limbo voter registration forms that arose yesterday.

During a Nov. 5 news conference, Mississippi State Conference NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the organization learned that "there have been substantial numbers of individuals who have registered to vote but who have not been entered into the system."

The NAACP recently held a large voter-registration drive in which they registered some 10,000 people to vote in Hinds County. Johnson said Monday that the organization had received complaints from a number of individuals who had not received their voter information cards in the mail.

Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn said that as far as she knew all the registration forms in her office had been scanned and that "nobody remembers the NAACP coming in here" with a large number of voter forms.

"They're trying to blame us, and we're blaming them," Dunn said of the snafu.

Down the hall, in the offices of the Hinds County Election Commission, office manager Grace Wallace did confirm that election commission staffers helped the circuit clerk's office enter hundreds of registrations from the NAACP and other groups, but said many of the forms were rejected because they contained incomplete or incorrect information.

Another election commission official who showed the JFP the unscanned registration forms explained that office workers simply ran out of time to get to the other forms, but she stressed that those individuals' votes would be counted as valid.

Johnson urged voters whose names do not appear on voter rolls when they show up at the polls tomorrow to request an affidavit ballot to ensure that their vote is counted.

Wayne McDaniel, president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, delivered a handful of forms of which the organization made copies yesterday afternoon and said that a circuit clerk employee entered the information into the voter database.

Today, however, there was no way to check to the status of those forms because SEMS, the Mississippi's state election management system, has been down all day, Dunn said.

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