Video: Behind the Scenes of Elections


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Runoff elections will take place around the area on Tuesday.

In Starkville, there will be 2 run-offs; the mayor’s race and Ward 1 Alderman.

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Runoff elections aren’t uncommon or cheap, and mean extra work for the election commission and city clerk’s office.

Elections take place every four years in Starkville, and this go around, some voters will be voting three different times, instead of two for the primary and general elections.

When it’s election season, we think of the candidates and who to cast our vote for, but we may forget about the people behind the scenes.

“The election commission probably has between four and five hundred hours wrapped up in this election,” says Chair of the Starkville Election Commission, Jim McKell.

A lot of work goes into making an election possible, and a runoff election is no different.

“A runoff, we don’t have as many candidates on the ballot, but this requires almost as much work as the general, or as the primary.”

Some of the prep work includes making sure the six different voting spots have everything they need.

“The election commissioners are printing the ballots for tomorrow, we are counting them out. We are double checking the poll books and loading the supply boxes and getting the ballot box seals ready. It’s just a lot of paperwork and a lot of time,” says Starkville City Clerk, Lesa Hardin.

Runoffs require just about the same manpower as it does for general and primary elections, but costs are a little lower.

They drop from nearly $8,000 dollars to around $5,000 dollars in these extra elections.

“We pay the poll workers $125 dollars a day. This will require a minimum of 24 poll workers. We are doing paper ballots this time because to have the company send out a tech to program the machines is $750 dollars a day and we would need them three to four days.”

The city budgets and pays for runoff costs, and this one might be higher than the budgeted amount.

“Usually, not ward wide with a mayor. Usually, there will be an alderman race, or you know, one ward, so it’s not as much of an expense, but doing it with all wards this time, is an expense.”

If you voted Democratic in the primaries, then you cannot vote for the GOP Ward 1 Alderman runoff race.

If you didn’t vote at all during primaries, you can vote in tomorrow’s runoff.