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National Issues

Mississippi Primary Snapshot PDF  | Print |  Email
By Verified Voting Foundation   
March 09, 2008

Mississippi holds a Presidential preference primary on Tuesday, March 11. Primary elections will also be held for federal offices and for Commissioners of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District.

Mississippi has just under 1.8 million registered voters. Mississippi voters do not register by political party, and voters may choose a Republican Party ballot or a Democratic Party ballot at the polls. Absentee voters must have an excuse for being unable to come to the polls. Most votes in the primary will be cast on DREs with a voter-verifiable paper trail printer. The state does not require post-election hand audits of the electronic vote tallies, so there will be no manual verification of software-tabulated election results.

See the Verifier map for a complete breakdown of county systems. Here is a statewide summary:

* 77 of the 82 counties in Mississippi use the Premier (Diebold) TSx direct-recording electronic touch screen as the only voting system in the polling place. In all of these except Jackson County, the TSx machines are equipped with voter-verifiable paper audit trail printers. The TSx has been subject of extensive scrutiny in the past several years, most recently following the discovery of critical security vulnerabilities by computer scientists commissioned by the secretaries of state in California and Ohio. Both reviews concluded that neither the TSx's electronic records nor its VVPAT printout is sufficiently secure to record and store votes.

* Harrison County has a blended system, using the Premier Accu-Vote optical scanner as the primary system, with the TSx for voters with disabilities. One county, Rankin County, uses the ES&S iVotronic touch screen, which is not equipped with a VVPAT option.

* Hinds County, the largest in the state, uses the AVS WINvote. No paper trail option is available for the WINVote. Verified Voting has learned that AVS (Advanced Voting Solutions) ceased operations late last year. At this time, Verified Voting does not know what arrangements Hinds County has made for technical support, though we have learned that counties in Virginia which use the WINVote are being serviced by a company called Election Services Online, LLC. Election Services online is owned by two former officers of AVS, Kimberlee Shoup Yeahl and Trevor Jones.

* 3 counties, Lee, DeSoto, and Yalobusha, use only optically scanned paper ballots, with the ES&S M100 optical scanner for tabulation and the AutoMARK ballot-marking device to serve voters with disabilities.

Source: Missisippi Secretary of State's office, http://www.sos.state.ms.us/elections/elections.asp
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