Watson: Mississippi should change multipart election system


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s incoming secretary of state says he will work to change a Jim Crow-era election system that requires multiple steps for statewide races.

Republican Michael Watson tells the Clarion Ledger he will ask legislators to consider the change. Voters also would have to approve it.

- Advertisement -

Mississippi’s 1890 constitution requires a statewide candidate to win a majority of both the popular vote and the 122 state House districts. Without both, the election is decided by the state House.

The multistep process was written to maintain white control of government. Black plaintiffs sued this year, saying the process violates the principle of one person-one vote.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan declined to block Mississippi from using the system during Nov. 5 elections, but said he has “grave concern” about the process.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)