By CARL SMITH
Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said her office is ready to provide uncertified absentee ballots this weekend to voters wishing to cast their ballots early in the Aug. 23 runoff.
Because of an issue in Noxubee County, statewide ballots had yet to receive state certification, but McGinnis said her office will use paper ballots marked with disclaimers in order to allow early voting this weekend.
McGinnis said she received this message from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s statewide election management division: “Your ballot images, reports and database for the Run-Off Election have been posted to the Secure Site. Please be advised, this election data has not been certified by the State Party Executive Committees. The database and ballot information is being provided in order to expedite the county’s preparation for the Run-Off Election. After certification is received, all data must be verified and approved by the County Party Executive Committees prior to being released to any voter.”
On Thursday, McGinnis said the delays in statewide certification would not provide her office enough time to produce a scanable ballot for weekend absentee.
Paper ballots “will not effect the integrity of the ballot or reveal any individuals or how they are voting,” she said.
Voters who participated in the Aug. 2 election must vote the same ticket on Aug. 23. If a person did not vote in the primary, he or she may vote in either the Democratic or Republican runoff election.
In-house absentee ballots are due at noon Aug. 20, but mailed ballots must be received by the circuit clerk by Aug. 22. The runoff election will be held the following day, Aug. 23.