Just too many: All absentee votes will not be counted on election night

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2020

For the first time Sarah Dionne can remember, all of the absentee votes cast during an election will not be counted on election night.

Dionne, the chairwoman of the Warren County Election Commission, said election officials worked all afternoon Tuesday on organizing and verifying the more than 4,000 absentee ballots received. But, she said, they simply will not have time to get them all done tonight.

By law, election officials cannot start processing absentee ballots before the polls close at 7 p.m. on Election Day.

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“We are not going to stay here through the night,” Dionne said. “At some point, we will just have to recess and come back in the morning.”

In all, 4,089 absentee ballots were completed, far more than the previous record total of 1,775 during the 2016 presidential election.

In an election that has a tremendously competitive race for president, local voters also have decisions to make when it comes to the acceptance of medical marijuana in the state and the adoption of a new state flag. All those factors, officials have said, have caused a surge in local voting.

Early Tuesday, polling places reported long lines of voters waiting for polls to open. Those lines continued throughout most of the day before slowing slightly, Dionne said, in the afternoon. She expected another surge of voters after 5 p.m. Polls close at 7 p.m.

“Anyone in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote,” Dionne said. “Once 7 p.m. arrives, the bailiff will stand behind the last person in line.”

She added that it is very likely that people will still be in line when 7 p.m. arrives.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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