Lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Democratic Party (MDP) in the Hinds County Chancery Court seeking to extend poll hours countywide until 8 p.m. due to ballot shortages on Election Day. With over 200,000 residents, Hinds County is the state’s largest county and is also home to the capital city of Jackson, which has an 83% Black population. A separate lawsuit filed on behalf of Mississippi Votes requested that the Hinds County Circuit Court extend poll hours until 9 p.m. due to ballot shortages on Election Day in four Hinds County precincts.
On election night, two courts issued two conflicting orders regarding poll hour extensions. In this case, the Chancery Court granted the MDP’s request for all polls in Hinds County to remain open until 8 p.m. The Mississippi Republican Party — which asked to intervened in the lawsuit — then appealed this extension to the state Supreme Court, asking that all ballots cast by those who arrived later than 7 p.m. be segregated and not counted at the precinct.
Meanwhile in the Mississippi Votes case, the Circuit Court allowed four polling locations to stay open until 9 p.m. but only for people who were in line at 7 p.m. The Mississippi Votes plaintiffs argued that this order contravened Mississippi law, which requires polling locations to remain open for as long as is necessary to ensure every person who is in line can cast a ballot.
Due to the conflicting orders, Mississippi Votes asked the Circuit Court for reconsideration, which the court denied. On Nov. 8, Mississippi Votes appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court in an attempt to get clarity for future elections. On Nov. 13, 2023, the petitioners voluntarily dismissed their appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
The Mississippi Supreme Court dismissed the Mississippi Republicans’ appeal of the MDP lawsuit on Nov. 15, 2023.
Case Documents (trial court)
Case Documents (Ms supreme Court)