By Rebecca Butcher | Local Memphis 24 | November 5, 2020
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves took to Twitter today with a major statement on the state’s election process, vowing that he would block universal mail-in voting and no-excuse early voting.
Early voting advocates say no move forward to allow voters to cast ballots before election day is voter suppression.
For Mississippi voters who stood hours in line on Election Day, Gov. Tate Reeves’ statement isn’t a welcome one. One democratic representative tells me the governor doesn’t want to make voting easy.
As the votes in the 2020 presidential election are still being counted in key battleground states Reeves tweeted that changes to the state’s current voting process would be “chaos.”
He also said– “I will do everything in my power to make sure universal mail-in voting and no excuse early voting are not allowed in Mississippi – not while I’m governor!”
“Voting should be made as easy as possible,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D). “Those two ways of mail-in and early voting are some of the most proven methods of getting voter participation up.”
Candace Coleman, the director of communications with the Mississippi ACLU said the interest in voting is clearly present citing lengthy lines on Election Day.
“If we don’t make early voting universal here in Mississippi after this election it should be obvious that is voter suppression,” said Coleman.
Mississippians requested more than twice as many absentee ballots this year than in 2016.
While the Magnolia State doesn’t offer early voting it does offer in-person absentee voting.
For resident Allen Crain casting a ballot was a two-hour process.
“It was a long line it wrapped all the way around the church,” said Crain. “Two hours to vote. It was a little frustrating.”
“It doesn’t cost anymore money to vote early,” commented Rep. Thompson. “Those offices are already open at the courthouses and people just go down and cast a ballot. Voting in Mississippi should be an easy process. Our governor for whatever reason does not want to make voting easy."