Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson announced at a press conference Tuesday morning that an unknown number of voter registrations have gone missing in Hinds County, Mississippi, and urged voters to cast what is known as an affidavit ballot if they arrive at the polls and find that they are not listed. According to the Jackson Free Press, Johnson made the announcement at a press event promoting the NAACP’s Mississippi voter help line, a service designed to help voters fight irregularities and suspected wrongdoing at the polls.
Recently, the NAACP held a massive voter registration drive, which added some 10,000 new voters to Hinds County registers, but as of Friday, many of the names were not yet listed in the voter registration database.
Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn told the Free Press, “We worked until 5 o’clock Saturday (Oct. 6),” the deadline for voter registrations in Jackson and Hinds County, and that voters whose registrations were not been processed on time do not have any recourse through her office.
The NAACP’s Johnson insisted that his group turned in the registration forms before Oct. 6 and that they should have been processed. The organization has received multiple calls, he said, from voters whose registrations had not been completed.
Dunn has been in office as the county’s Circuit Clerk for 28 years and within the last four years has received three sanctions from the Mississippi Supreme Court. In 2008, she was cited and fined for “failure to comply with the requirements of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure.” The Supreme Court fined her office $5,000 in 2010 for failure to send judge’s orders to attorneys, sometimes allowing appeals and other deadlines to expire. And in March of this year, Dunn was ordered by the state’s highest court to personally pay a $9,500 fine and fire a longtime staffer for the office’s failure to file a law firm’s appeal with a county judge within its 30-day deadline.
In spite of the multiple lapses, Dunn cites her “personal touch” as the reason she continues to be elected to the position of County Circuit Clerk.
Johnson said Tuesday morning that he is personally delivering the names and registration information collected by the NAACP to Dunn’s office. He urged voters to file an affidavit ballot, which will be counted when their registration is verified.