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Low voter turnout is wasteful, election commissioner says


The Associated Press



JACKSON -- Taxpayer money is being wasted because of registered voters who don't bother to cast ballots, a local election official in Mississippi said. 


Commissioners have to order enough paper ballots for 60 percent of registered voters. But, in the most recent special election, not even 25 percent of registered voters showed up, Hinds County elections commissioner Toni Johnson told WJTV . 


Each ballot costs 25 cents. Unused ones have to be put into storage for two years. 


A runoff for Hinds County attorney is set for Nov. 28. 


"For a countywide election including ballots, delivering machines, training, maintenance, we're looking at between $80,000 to $100,000," Johnson said. 


By law, all 110 precincts must have 5 poll workers. Each worker makes between $120 and $140 each election. 


Voter turnout is typically low for runoffs. Commissioners have to order enough ballots for 60 percent of the registered voters. But for the most recent special election, not even one-fourth of registered voters participated. 


Johnson said he 'can't tell you which way to vote, but your vote needs to count. Because these are tax payer dollars, so whether you vote or not we're having to spend the money," Johnson said. 


Absentee ballots can still be filed for the November 28 run-off.




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