Watson announces COVID-19 safety preparations for November election

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office remains committed to ensuring local election officials have the necessary items to make voting precincts as safe as possible on Election Day. Friday, the Mississippi National Guard assisted by distributing 117 palates of COVID-19 safety supplies with an estimated value of more than $542,000.

“In the beginning stages of the current pandemic, our team made a commitment to do all we could to ensure clean and safe precincts so Mississippians could feel both comfortable and confident casting their votes on Election Day,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson. “These will be the cleanest and safest precincts Mississippi voters have ever seen. I couldn’t be more proud of the fine men and women in our office who pitched in to help execute our plan. Additionally, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our Circuit Clerks and Election Commissioners, as well as the good folks at MEMA, the National Guard and the Department of Agriculture.”

Item            Amount

Hand Sanitizer    8,760 2-liter bottles

Masks            111,350

Face Shields        13,077

Gloves            151,900 pairs 

Disinfecting Wipes    7,776 packs

Germicidal Cleaner   2,120 packets 

Pens            750,000

Styluses        750,000

The items were purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds given to our state for the 2020 federal election cycle. Each palate contained boxes of masks, face shields, gloves, disinfecting wipes, germicidal cleaner, and one-time-use pens and styluses — all of which are products from Mississippi vendors. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) donated roughly 8,700 bottles of hand sanitizer for the counties as well. 

“We at MEMA are happy to help ensure that all Mississippians are protected while exercising their right to vote,” said MEMA Executive Director, Greg Michel. “This pandemic has taken lives, but we hope with the help of this PPE, it will not hinder one of the greatest privileges we have as Americans, voting.”  

County election officials will pick up the supplies from local distribution areas and distribute the items to precincts before Election Day. While the Mississippi State Department of Health data shows a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases, our office will continue to encourage COVID-19 preventative measures at the polls. For additional COVID-19 safety information regarding the 2020 General Election, please visit our Y’all Vote website (yallvote.ms).

(Secretary of State’s news release)

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