By CARL SMITH
Counties across the state, including Oktibbeha County, are reprinting general election ballots after an error left off the financial costs of three statewide initiatives.
Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said the secretary of stateâ€™s office decided to go forward with the re-printing of all ballots and re-programing of TSX touchscreen voting machines.
The fiscal analysis for each initiative was prepared by the state legislative budget office. The office found no financial impact for the â€śpersonhoodâ€ť and eminent domain initiatives. It did find an almost $1.5 million impact for the voter identification initiative.
â€śPursuant to code section 23-15-367, it is the responsibility of the Secretary of State to prepare the ballot and the Governor to approve it.Â Luckily, one of our career election lawyers was reviewing another matter and discovered that the Secretary of State had failed to place the fiscal analysis on the initiative as is expressly required by the Constitution (Section 273),â€ť Miss. Attorney General Jim Hood said Wednesday in a press release. â€śOur assistant attorney general immediately called the Secretary of Stateâ€™s office to notify them of their error.â€ť
Although this information was missing from initial ballots, McGinnis said her office was able to provide the information to absentee voters. She said 221 ballots â€” 80 cast in-house and 141 by mail â€” were cast in Oktibbeha County before the error was caught.
The county will be reimbursed by the secretary of stateâ€™s office for re-print costs.
â€śBottom line ... this does not affect the ballot,â€ť McGinnis said.