Preston Ratliff, Leflore County election commissioner, happily reported to the Leflore County Board of Supervisors Monday that last week’s election was a success.

At Monday night’s meeting, Ratliff spoke on behalf of the 11 members of the county’s resolution board, which helped count absentee ballots.

“We had absolutely zero problems,” Ratliff said.

In September, the supervisors discussed Mississippi House Bill 1521, which among other things set procedures for the resolution board. Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill into law earlier this year.

This board was set up due to the expected influx of absentee ballots as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which turned out to be an accurate assumption.

Ratliff said the county received about 2,900 absentee ballots but added that the exact number will be finalized soon.

“By far that was the largest number of absentee ballots that we ever handled here,” he said.

The resolution board was set up in the courthouse on Election Day and for two subsequent days, with plans to meet again Thursday.

This board, which was previously responsible only for reviewing damaged, defective, blank or over-voted ballots rejected by the tabulating equipment, was also trained to inspect the ballots and decide whether they would be accepted or rejected.

Ratliff also took time to recognize the late Edward Course, a longtime Leflore County election commissioner who died in July at the age of 68 due to complications from multiple sclerosis.

Ratliff said the work Course did helped this year’s election run so smoothly.

“We had worked on this all year before his passing, and for the most part the system is in place because of what he put in play,” he said.

Robert Collins, president of the Board of Supervisors, expressed his gratitude for Ratliff and his team., saying, “We want to thank you for a smooth election.”

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW

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