Ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and the Hinds County Election Commission announced Wednesday a partnership with Jackson State University, which will provide two polling locations in the event of an emergency due to COVID-19.
District 2 Election Commissioner Toni Johnson said JSU has offered the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center (AAC) and the Mississippi e-Center@JSU as polling locations. Previously, JSU’s Precinct 49 has been in the Student Center. That now has changed this November to the AAC, where students and the public will vote because of COVID-19.‘We’re happy to be an emergency staging area, and we look forward to more of these partnerships.’ — JSU Acting President Thomas K. Hudson“We, here in Hinds County, put in an emergency contingency plan, and the university has stepped up to offer their facilities to help us accommodate that,” Johnson said. “Jackson State students who are registered to vote will also help manage our Election Day poll worker center. We have approximately 50 poll workers that will be housed at the AAC on Election Day in the event of emergencies. We will train these poll workers. The students will help run this facility and assist the Hinds County Election Commission on Election Day.”
Meanwhile, JSU Acting President Thomas K. Hudson expressed his appreciation to Johnson and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors for allowing JSU to partner and support the voting process.
“We feel this will encourage more people to come out and more of our students to come out with respect to social distancing and the location for parking,” said Hudson, touting JSU’s interest in encouraging more people to exercise their right to vote. “We’re happy to be an emergency staging area, and we look forward to more of these partnerships.” He said efforts such as these are “aligned with the mission and the goals of the university to be a true community partner in Hinds County.”
The Election Commission said it will provide personal protection equipment (PPEs) at precincts – wipes, gloves, face masks, shields, Lysol spray, hand sanitizers and disposable pens for each voter. Also, extra voting machines will be provided to the busiest precincts.
Absentee voting will begin Sept. 21 at the Hinds County Circuit Clerk’s office in Raymond or the downtown location.