Secretary of State Michael Watson wraps up statewide tour

Secretary of State Michael Watson ended his 82-county tour today, making his last stop in Jackson County.

Watson launched his 82 county tour in 2020 upon taking office, to help build strong relationships with those in the state. While on his tour, Watson discussed voting-related issues, brainstormed ideas to help strengthen the overall election process with all circuit clerks and election commissioners. “Being able to listen and exchange ideas, there are things that I think that this may be a great idea, but when you talk to the commissioners who see it on the ground every day, those are the experts.”

Watson ended his tour by coming home to Pascagoula where he held a meeting with the election commissioners in Jackson County. “It’s wonderful to be at home to cap off this 82-county tour in our first term, to say look we care about building a team and learning from our clerks and commissioners.”

One thing that that stuck out to Watson in the meeting was how many commissioners were not in favor of the rule stating that election commissioners are required to work five hours over a one- or two-day period before being paid. “The five hour requirement for our election commissioners, the job that they do a lot of Mississippians don’t understand the weight of the work they do. When you’re cleaning up the voter polls, you are making sure that the process is full of integrity, a lot of that weight falls on them. So, making sure that they are properly compensated for the work that they do is something that I took away from this meeting.”

With the new voting machines being implemented, Election Commission Chairman Danny Glaskox says this was the perfect time to meet with Watson. “I’ve been working on training for our poll workers because it is all new. It’s going to be a learning curve for our new poll managers because they are not used to the paper ballots. With the exception of those that usually do affidavit ballots, they are already familiar with them, but everybody is going to be using paper now.”

Watson believes with the new voting machines; it will help keep elections secure. “I’m hoping that this continues to build confidence in the process.”

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