Doing the job the Obama Justice Department wouldn’t, the American Civil Rights Union sued yet another Mississippi county with more registered voters than legally eligible residents – this time, notorious Noxubee – and again succeeded in obtaining a consent decree that obligates the County Election Commission to do its job of maintaining clean voter rolls as required by the National Voter Registration Act.
Noxubee County had voter registration rates well over 100 percent of its eligible population “for several election cycles,” a pretty clear indication that the county wasn’t meeting its voter registration list maintenance obligations under Section 8 of the NVRA.
“This is the fourth Mississippi county we’ve successfully sued over corrupt voter rolls since 2013,” said ACRU Chairman and CEO Susan A. Carleson. “These cases send a message to other counties around the nation that if they don’t keep accurate registration records, they’ll be next.”
“Voting’s been pretty steady… We’ve had a pretty good turnout. No real problems with voter ID.”
County election officials across Mississippi consistently reported that the state’s primary voting process ran smoothly on Tuesday and voters “don’t mind showing their ID.”
The Mississippi house “overwhelmingly passed election and voting reforms pushed by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, including a major rewrite of election code and measures to allow online voter registration and early voting up to 14 days before an election.”
“Today we turn the page on 125 years of Mississippi history,” Hosemann said. “To have a complete in toto revision of our election laws shows that we have bipartisan trust in each other in Mississippi. We trusted each other on voter ID before and we were the only state not sued, and now we have total bipartisan support for these changes.”
The bills move to the Senate.
Easier to vote, harder to cheat:
Mississippians could register to vote online and begin voting 21 days before an election without an absentee excuse under a “complete revision” of election laws Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is proposing to the Legislature.
“It is time to address outdated and inefficient election laws which have, in some cases, been on the books for decades,” Hosemann said on Tuesday, releasing his proposals with a Capitol press conference. “These proposals make it easier to cast your ballot, harder for someone to cheat the electorate and provide severe penalties for those who do.”
The Secretary of State’s Election Code Study Group recommendations, based on input from a bipartisan task force, include early voting, “allowed only in a circuit clerk’s office,” that “would help crack down on absentee voting abuse; online voter registration, through “a secure Internet portal” that “would match information with the Department of Public Safety database including citizenship information;” and “tougher, consolidated penalties for election-law crimes, which he noted are almost never prosecuted in part because they are not clearly defined or understood.”
Hosemann said the reforms will “bring Mississippi election laws into the 21st century,” but said the changes could not even be up for discussion prior to voter ID requirements that kicked in in 2014.
The last of seven people charged with misdemeanor illegal voting from the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election was served her indictment.
Forrest-Perry County District Attorney Patricia Burchell said Takhara Lakia Smith has yet to plead to a charge of voting by an unqualified person.
Another of the seven people indicted on misdemeanor illegal voting charges from the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election was jailed this morning.
Mack Charles West, 40, was charged with voter fraud stemming from the special mayoral election held in September 2013.
A report released by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office outlines a number of recommendations to change Mississippi’s election laws. The report is the end product of a series of meetings held last summer by a 52 member panel organized to review how Mississippian’s vote, and ways to improve the process… Among the committees top recommendations are online voter registration and early voting two weeks before Election Day.
House Apportionment and Elections Committee chair Bill Denny says there is bipartisan support for both proposals, but cautions that implementation details need further study.
Two more individuals have been indicted for illegally voting in the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election.
That brings the number of voter fraud prosecutions in this case to five; two more indictments are pending.
Seven indicted on charges of illegal voter activity from Hattiesburg Mayoral Election:
A year-long investigation by the district attorney’s office into alleged voter irregularities in the 2013 Hattiesburg Mayoral Election has resulted in seven indictments by the Forrest County Grand Jury. District Attorney Patricia Burchell issued a news release on Friday confirming that seven people have been indicted on misdemeanor charges, after two grand juries determined there was sufficient evidence of illegal voter activity.
The court ordered a re-do of the contested mayoral election, decided by a 37-vote margin, based on evidence of mishandled absentee ballots and illegal voting that included voter impersonation, voting by ineligible felons, and even “a 17-year-old voted absentee from the county jail.”
Via The Clarion-Ledger:
Mississippi has been the only state in recent years to implement voter ID without federal litigation filed by the Department of Justice, said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who’s been selected co-chair of a voter participation panel for the National Association of Secretaries of State.
“We implemented a statewide campaign to educate our voters on the new requirement, and the proof is in the pudding,” Hosemann said. “Less than 1 percent of Mississippi voters lacked photo ID on election day and now, other states are calling for our recipe.”