/Practices aimed to suppress the vote’ Mississippi is only state without early voting for all

Practices aimed to suppress the vote’ Mississippi is only state without early voting for all

According to the Democracy Initiative report, which was compiled by 75 organizations advocating voter access, Mississippi is the only state where in-person voting on Election Day is an option for all voters. “Mississippi is the only state that allows absentee voting. However, not all eligible voters can vote early or cast a ballot. Mississippi legislators did less than other states to increase early voting and vote-by-mail during the pandemic. READ MORE: Once again, legislative leaders have stated that they won’t expand early voting during a pandemic. With the exception of Mississippi and 49 other states, the Democracy Initiative study shows that citizens have the option to vote in person or by mail early this year. Mississippi is the only state that doesn’t allow no-excuse mail voting, while four other states allow all voters to vote early during the pandemic. “At a moment when we should all work to ensure that the ballots are accessible to all Mississippians,” stated Corey Wiggins (executive director of the Mississippi State Conference of NAACP). “Even today in 2020, our fight against outdated policies and practices aimed at suppressing the vote continues.” Mississippi had some of most restrictive early voting laws in America before the pandemic. Only those who will be out of their home on Election Day, people over 65 years old and persons with disabilities can vote early in person or by post. In an effort to accommodate the pandemic, earlier this year the Legislature extended early voting to those who are either in a doctor-ordered quarantine or the caretaker of someone in quarantine. Although lawsuits were filed in an attempt to increase early voting opportunities for Mississippi, they have not been successful. The four states bordering Mississippi allow in-person, no-excuse early voting during the pandemic year. According to the study, Arkansas is the only state that allows both in-person and mail no-excuse early voter registration. Because of COVID-19 safety concerns, none of Mississippi’s Republican legislative leaders advocated that all Mississippians vote early this year. Governor Rick Perry also did not support early voting. Tate Reeves and Secretary of State Michael Watson, responsible for state elections, were not supportive. READ MORE: Lieutenant Governor. Delbert Hosemann, Speaker Philip Gunn were once supporters of early voting. What made them withdraw during COVID-19. Watson also stated that there would be no mandate for the state to wear a mask at the polls on Election Day. All agree that the current law combined with language giving people in quarantine a right to vote early and personal protection equipment at the precincts will ensure safe elections. Reeves noted that special elections have taken place for state legislative seats and, to his knowledge, these have been held safely. Reeves stated recently that he is confident that this will be true on Election Day in November. This November, more than 1 million Mississippians will vote. According to the Democracy Initiative study, a record 160,000,000 people could vote in this year’s national elections. The study stated that the COVID-19 pandemic would make this election unlike any other. “As there are health concerns about the possibility of contracting the deadly virus from standing in or entering crowded polling places, millions of voters will vote using a new method in 2020.”