JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) We still may not know the final results of the U.S presidency heading into the weekend. But seeing how other states adapted to voter expansion during the pandemic has Mississippi leaders weighing in.
There’s been some confusion about when ballots are eligible to be counted and where the cutoff mark is for them being too late. The timeframe varies by state but virtually everywhere even in Mississippi elections are never final on election night.
All eyes are on Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada to determine the next commander in chief. Mississippi leaders are chiming in on the process.
“I will tell you I am concerned as many people around the country are,” Governor Tate Reeves stated. “I see what appears to be an attempt in a process that may lack transparency.”
“The whole idea that you don’t count ballots after Election Day makes no sense,” Rep. Robert Johnson argued. “We count ballots after Election Day in Mississippi all the time. Absentee ballots the next day you go through all those, we have election contests that are not unusual. All that happens.”
In Mississippi for example by law, absentee ballots through mail postmarked by Election Day have five days to come in. Then counties have another ten days to verify results. A prime example is the state supreme court race between Justice Kenny Griffis and Latrice Westbrooks still not called.
“Mail-in voting, people want to pretend is a new thing. It is not new;” Rep. Johnson added. “It has been almost prolific in presidential elections. There’s no fraud now, there hasn’t been any fraud and in fact, it’s something we ought to be looking at here in the state of Mississippi.”
Currently, Mississippi has no early voting opportunities but does allow absentee voting in person or by mail if you have a valid reason or be 65 or older. Governor Reeves has doubts about making expansions.
“People in America today and people in Mississippi today move a lot,” Gov. Reeves said. “If you just massively send out ballots where people use to live the last time, they voted there are going to be in our state hundreds of thousands of ballots that go to places where those individuals no longer live.”
Election Commissions in the states still counting point to laws prohibiting them from counting mail and absentee ballots until election day as dragging the final results on. But Rep. Johnson has ideas on how more voting access can work.
“If you’re doing such a good job in your leadership why wouldn’t you want more people to vote,” Rep. Johnson told us. “The idea of more people voting means holding more people accountable. I’m not afraid of more people voting. Make this process an involved process and make it one that people are interested in.”
Others like Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson took to Twitter backing up the actions of President Trump calling it protecting democracy. While others like representative Bennie Thompson compared the president’s moves to a “wannabe a dictator.”
President Trump took almost 70% of the popular vote in Mississippi totaling 677,218 ballots. Earning six electoral votes.
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