/Not while I’m governor!’ Reeves vows to block Mississippi early, mail-in voting

Not while I’m governor!’ Reeves vows to block Mississippi early, mail-in voting

“… Based on what I see today in other states, I will also make every effort to ensure universal mail-in and no-excuse voting are not permitted in MS–not during my tenure as governor!” The Republican governor tweeted Thursday. “Too much chaos. It would only happen if many GOP legislators override the veto! Reeves also promised to do everything to ensure that every Mississippi ballot is counted, as multiple counties had not received their totals as of Thursday. One race for the state Supreme Court had not been called. This was due to an unusually large absentee vote despite Mississippi’s strict absentee voting regulations. Several Republican-controlled states such as Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee allow early or universal mail-in voting. Reeves’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for more explanation about his Thursday veto vows. READ MORE: “Practices intended to suppress the vote.” Mississippi is the only state that does not allow early voting during a pandemic. Donald Trump claims Democrats are trying to take the election from him via absentee or mail-in voter fraud. His campaign has filed numerous lawsuits while votes are being counted. Experts and election officials insist that there is no evidence to suggest widespread voter fraud, and the process is functioning as it should. Mississippi GOP leaders also supported restrictive voting regulations that did not include evidence of widespread voter fraud. The reason there is a delay in the presidential vote is that several states still counting ballots on Thursday afternoon are being managed by Republican elected officials. They have passed policy to ensure that absentee ballots cannot begin to count until Election Day. Mississippi prohibits absentees from being counted after the polls close at 7 pm on Election Day. Mississippi’s Jim Crow history has been marked by voter suppression, especially after Black residents were granted the right to vote. Mississippi’s laws are still some of the most restrictive in America. In recent years, reforming Mississippi’s voting laws has been a partisan battle. Republicans are reluctant to loosen restrictions. Mississippi was the only state that did not allow all citizens to vote early, rather than crowded polling places on Tuesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While every other state had expanded early voting to combat the pandemic, Mississippi’s Republican leaders allowed several bills to address this issue to die. READ MORE: Once again, legislative leaders have stated that they won’t expand early voting during a pandemic. “Even today in 2020, our fight against outdated policies and practices aimed at suppressing the vote continues,” stated Corey Wiggins (executive director of the Mississippi NAACP). David Blount (D-Jackson), a long-standing advocate for reforming Mississippi’s restrictive voting regulations said that he believes Reeves’ vow is contrary to what Mississippi voters want. Blount stated that “more than 40 states have early voting.” “Early voting can be done in complete security. It’s as easy as walking past a deputy sheriff to the courthouse and showing your photo ID. It’s totally secure. It’s something that most Mississippians want, regardless of their party affiliation or who they voted for as president. People want options, they want choices. If government is to be run like a business, you wouldn’t say “Come buy my product but you’ll have to wait three to four hours before I sell it.” We need to treat citizens and customers with respect. It’s no surprise that so many states allow early voting, red and blue. A voter must have the ballot application and notarized ballot in order to mail an absentee vote. Blount stated that Mississippi’s mail-in procedure is the most restrictive in the country. Even if eligibility is not changed, mail-in must be easier to use. People are not allowed to have two documents notarized in Mississippi. This is a unique practice. Mississippi has a long history making it difficult to vote. I believe Mississippians want to see improvements._x000D