The Hinds County Board of Supervisors told Jackson City Councilman Dekeither Stamps that he needed to take his complaints about precinct changes to the Jackson City Council. Mr. Stamps charged two weeks ago at a Jackson City Council meeting that the Hinds County Election Commission was moving and closing precincts. The Hinds County Election Commission recently proposed moving eleven voting precincts. Gone was the bombast and aggressive manner as a much more subdued councilman appeared before the supervisors Monday as they explained to him that it was the city who changed the precincts when they originally served both the county and city.
Mr. Stamps opened the discussion by telling the Supervisors that voters in some areas had to go to different precincts for city and county elections. However, Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran said that "until three years ago the precincts within the city of Jackson had the same boundary lines and voting locations. It was the city of Jackson that in redistricting, all that changed." She provided a list of ward changes for the city of Jackson (posted below). She said "they collapsed precincts, they created new precincts, which created confusion for the voters. I don't know how with the new precinct lines in the city of Jackson, how we can keep everything uniform." She said that Mr. Stamps wanted to redraw the lines to make the precincts uniform again but that was "a function of the city of Jackson".
Mrs. Cochran said the Election Commission was willing to look at changing precincts where feasible such as fire stations. Several commissioners have told JJ that the fire stations have no air conditioning, no heat, little parking, and are just plain inconvenient for poll workers and voters. She said "much of what he is trying to accomplish does not involve the Election Commission." All of the supervisors supported Ms. Cochran as they repeatedly said it was the city of Jackson that changed the precincts. Supervisor Graham said that the proposed precinct changes in his district actually "made things better for voters".
It should also be pointed out that NAACP President Derrick Johnson drew the redistricting maps for both the county and the city. Interesting in that a lady wearing a NAACP hat accompanied Mr. Stamps to the Board of Supervisors meeting. Perhaps the NAACP should look in the mirror if it is going to start throwing stones over where precincts are located. That little fact was never mentioned at the Jackson city council meeting two weeks ago.
Mrs. Cochran also told the board that several precincts did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Supervisor Tony Greer said that the changes were proposed because they were either not ADA compliant or the polling stations requested the change. Mrs. Cochran said that was true and that several polling places notified the commission that they would not serve as such after the November elections. The entire discussion was amicable and the two sides agreed to help each other as much as possible.
Changes by Jackson: