Supporters awaiting guidance from the Secretary of State’s office.
MEVi78, the group pushing to get the Early Voting initiative on the ballot in Mississippi, has urged Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session and allow lawmakers to rectify the initiative process.
Issues with Mississippi’s initiative process arose after the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against the validation of Initiative 65, the medical marijuana initiative. The challenge had been made that it was not properly certified based on the state’s Constitution.
State Representative Hester McCray (D) has been a supporter and proponent for early voting. She said that the initiative, Initiative 78, was in the final stage of the process and advertisements were already being run across the state. The DeSoto County lawmaker said supporters are currently waiting for the Secretary of State’s approval to begin collecting signatures from voters. However, there is concern that the process, at this point, will not move forward.
“We want to know if we can lawfully proceed and have reached out to the Secretary of State’s Office for guidance,” said McCray. She added in a Monday interview with Y’all Politics that she was expecting a letter from the SOS as early as Tuesday with further instructions regarding the next steps.
The Mississippi Early Voting Initiative (MEVi78) is an active ballot initiative that would give registered voters of Mississippi a minimum of 10 days of early voting. Other active initiatives, such as Initiative 76, Medicaid Expansion, have decided to “pause” while the state’s initiative process is worked out by lawmakers.
“We are hoping and praying that Governor Tate Reeves calls a special session so the legislature can work on this problem,” said McCray. “I am very much in support of a special session and getting this matter solved as soon as possible.”
While the state Supreme Court decision was a blow for Initiative 65 and other future initiatives at this time, McCray said it was a fair and just decision made by the Court according to the actual language in the Constitution. However, the freshman legislator said now they need to fix it so that the people do not lose their ability to file and vote for ballot initiatives.
MEVi78 and others will rally in the capital city tomorrow to support an event hosted by We are the 74. They will be calling for a special session to implement Initiative 65 and restore the voter-approved ballot initiative process. The rally is at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25th at the Mississippi Supreme Court building in Jackson.
“We will gather to voice our frustration over the Supreme Court’s decision to crush our initiative process, but also to strongly encourage our governor to make the right decision and call a special session,” We are the 74 organizer Donnie Collins stated. “This affects all Mississippians! More info to come, so stay tuned! In the meantime, continue to contact your local and state representatives and voice your frustration. Keep the faith! We will be HEARD!”