By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2011, 2:55pm PT  

What the hell is the matter with Mississippi and their elections all of a sudden?!

You'll recall that two weeks ago, e-voting system failures --- such as machines that wouldn't boot up at all and votes that were counted twice --- created chaos during Mississippi's state primaries, leading one official to declare days afterward, as they were all struggling to sort out results of several close elections: "At this point there is no election...Everyone is baffled."

Then, last week, we reported on the Jones County, MS election clerk who asked for, and received permission from, the county Board of Supervisors to remove the so-called "paper trail" printers from his county's 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting machines because, as he told the board reportedly (with a straight face), "the voting machines record every vote and there is no way for them to be tampered with."

(That Jones County Circuit Clerk, Bart Gavin, has still not replied to our request for comment hoping to determine whether he's just hopelessly clueless, or something worse.)

And now comes this, from Rankin County, MS in advance of today's Democratic gubernatorial run-off election...

Via Jackson Free Press...

Rankin County Paper Snubbing Dems?

If you are a Rankin County resident and read the Rankin County News or the Rankin Leader, you might not be aware that Johnny DuPree and Bill Luckett face each other in tomorrow's run off election.

A sample ballot appears in the Aug. 17 edition of the weekly paper listing the Republican candidates for District 20 state senator, coroner, District 4 supervisor and state treasurer. The Democratic governor's runoff, however, is not mentioned in the ballot or the front-page article about the runoffs.

Rankin County News and Rankin Leader Publisher Marcus Bowers said the omission was an oversight and not intentional.

“I was busy, and with so much going on, I forgot,” Bowers said today. Bowers said he may run a correction next week, even though it will be after the primary at that point.

Rankin County Democratic Party Chairman James Parker worries that the county's turnout for the Democratic runoff will suffer as a result.

[Hat-tip @MaddowBlog on the Twitters.]

Perhaps Mississippi should just save a lot of time and money for everyone by just asking one person, let's say, Jones County Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin or Rankin County News and Rankin Leader publisher Marcus Bowers, who should be named the "winner" of any given race. All this "voting" and "democracy" and stuff is clearly just becoming an inconvenience for everyone involved in Mississippi.

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