I would like to know which seven Mississippi counties had 100 percent or more of their voting age population on the voter rolls when Michael Watson took office. Mississippi has almost exactly the percentage of registered voters as the nation as a whole — 66.95 percent. I would think that if seven of our 82 counties had 100 percent (or more!) of their voters registered, it would have skewed the state percentage much higher. I have heard a lot of politicians lately make unsupported data claims to support personal positions, so I would like to see some support for this one.
Secretary Watson said that higher voter turnouts make election security vital. Election security has always been vital, and before now, no one has expressed concern with it here. Using, I suppose, his seven counties, Secretary Watson proposes changes in the way we do election business. Purging the rolls is first. Purges are fine in principle, if the purged are notified that they have been purged. Voting day is not the time to discover that one is not eligible to vote. Mississippi does not offer voting day registration.
Proof of citizenship is second. Secretary Watson wants to use “flags” to identify people who must prove their citizenship. I wonder what the flags might be? Hispanic surnames? I learned that I had an Irish surname at customs in London when I was pulled into an interview room to determine whether I was a terrorist because of my last name. It raised a flag. First names beginning with La- or some other non-traditional form? Race? Majority leader Mitch McConnell did say that blacks voted “in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
Our Secretary of State revealed his intent when he said that he wanted to ban corporate spending designed to increase Democratic voter turnout. “In Wisconsin, they [presumably, companies like Facebook] flooded money into communities that they knew were tilted toward Democrats.” Will this law prevent the Koch brothers’ companies or petroleum companies or sugar plantations from getting out GOP voters? Silly thought.
Finally, he wants the power to squander millions of tax dollars on “audits.” Maybe he can hire the new company that arises from the ashes of the bankrupt Cyber Ninjas to perform another circus clown act. After all, with Facebook flooding money into Democratic turnout, a Democrat might someday win a State office here, and that would demand an audit.
Bill Gillmore (an Irish surname! Who knew?)