Ballot shortages cause anger, confusion in DeSoto County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Paranjape

Ballot shortages cause anger, confusion in DeSoto County

A ballot shortage caused frustration for Democratic voters in DeSoto County during Tuesday's Mississippi primary.

As voters went to the polls Tuesday, multiple precincts across the county reported running out of Democratic ballots.

Voter Sonya Barfield said when she attempted to vote at Southaven Middle School, she was told they were out of ballots.

"I'm very shocked," she said.

The polling location at the school ran out of ballots fore times in the first five hours.  Voters were asked to wait, or come back later.

"I'm a mother of five kids, so I don't exactly have a whole lot of time to sit up at a school and vote," Barfield said.

Others simply said they were not coming back, while others crossed party lines and voted Republican.

Voter Ardella Jefferies wondered if it was all intentional.

"What they're trying to do is discourage Democrats so we'll go home p----d and not come back, but yeah, I'll come back," she said.

One poll worker said not having enough Democratic ballots was "embarrassing."  Voter Kathleen Leech called in "unamerican."

"It makes me furious," she said.  "I mean, where are they.  How come we don't have them?  How come there's not an oversupply of ballots?"

Lynn Coats, a DeSoto county precinct manager who has worked the past six elections there said he has never seen ballots run out before.

"There's a lot of interest in the people running, bringing a lot of people out that don't normally vote," he said.

An official with the DeSoto County Election Commission said they were simply "overwhelmed" by Democratic voter turnout.

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