JACKSON, Miss. - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi joined the Legal Defense Fund and other partner civil rights organizations in sending a letter to Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson regarding polling site changes and voter notification. This is the second letter sent to Secretary Watson regarding polling site changes and inaccurate information. Today’s letter addresses Sec. Watson’s failure to implement the recommendations outlined in the first letter. The letters also reflect the vigilance and unity of civil rights groups in Mississippi working to protect voting rights in the state. 

The March letter demanded that the Mississippi Secretary of State issue rules and regulations to help local officials accurately and promptly report polling site changes to the Secretary, as local officials are statutorily obligated to do. Many local officials failed to do this during the 2020 election and the 2022 primary. This resulted in inaccurate information in the statewide election management system, which the Secretary administers.  

The organizations asked the Secretary to issue rules/guidance on two things: (1) to establish a timeline for local officials to report poll site changes, and (2) to remind and instruct local officials about the notice they must send to voters when their polling site does change.

The Secretary has the legal authority (and the moral responsibility) to address these issues and ensure that all Mississippians have the information they need to vote. Inaction will result in needless confusion and disenfranchisement, disproportionately falling on Black Mississippians.

Read the full letter here.