Thursday, October 4, 2012

Delbert Hosemann: I want to run the Hinds County elections

There is a ginned-up issue out there, folks, that threatens to end local control of elections in majority-black counties.  It is part and parcel of nationwide Republican plans to suppress minority votes.  This is important, so please pay attention:

According to the Hinds County Circuit Clerk, Barbara Dunn (D), there are 57 Hinds County residents who are eligible to cast military absentee ballots, 12 of which are in the country. The 45 overseas military absentee voters were contacted and informed that they could vote online. The 12 in the U.S. wanted paper ballots, and they will get those once they are printed.

The remaining absentee ballots haven't been printed yet because the Election Commissioner race involving Bobbie Graves is the subject of a lawsuit currently pending before the Mississippi Supreme Court. Contrary to what some people are saying, the law allows for situations such as this. Note the last part of Section 23-15-9(a) of the Mississippi Code:
(a) Not more than forty-five (45) days nor later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding elections held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days, he shall appear in person before the registrar of the county in which he resides, or for municipal elections he shall appear in person before the city clerk of the municipality in which he resides and, when the elector so appears, he shall execute and file an application as provided in Section 23-15-627 and vote by absentee ballot, except that if the ballot has not been printed by forty-five (45) days preceding the election, the elector may appear and file an application anytime before the election. Then the absentee ballot shall be mailed by the circuit clerk to the elector as soon as the ballot has been printed.
All of this is apparently giving Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) the vapors, because he is claiming he has already drafted a lawsuit to take over the Hinds County elections.  This lawsuit, if filed, could create the legal precedent Hosemann would need to take over a county's elections any time he sees a problem.  And guess where he's going to see problems?  That's right, the same places he thinks he sees the rampant voter fraud he's not prosecuting.  Which happen to be the same places the MSGOP sends poll watchers.  And all of which just happen to be the majority-black areas of our state.


Jake McGuire said...

Is this any worse than Clark's scheming to put Democrats at the top of each race on the ballot, instead of ordering candidates by last name as they've done for 25 years? (The only reason I can see is to make it easier for a semi-literate voter to be told "check the top box in each race" by the local machine boss driving him/her to the polls.)

Not saying Hosemann is right, but Hinds County elections are an embarrassment on all sides of the aisle.

Matt Eichelberger said...

You won't find me defending Jermal on this. Although for some reason I recall an attempt by Barbour a few years ago to put Republicans at the top of the ballot statewide. I can't find that anywhere, though, so I don't think I'm remembering that correctly. I could be thinking of Barbour's attempt to put the Wicker/Musgrove senatorial race at the bottom of the ballot.

Bottom line is, both sides try to play games with ballot order.