Secretary of State Michael Watson says election related issues have come to light in Northeast Mississippi prior to election day involving a local official.
Secretary Watson released a statement on Twitter regarding reports of an individual offering cash prizes for voter participation in Tuesday’s municipal elections. He said he has also received numerous reports of churches offering cash prizes to encourage absentee ballot voting.
The individual in the video was recognized by District Attorney John Weddle as City of Tupelo elected council member Nettie Davis.
In the post, Davis encouraged people to bring their “I Voted” sticker for a chance to win 1 of 3 $100 cash prizes. The video has since been taken down after initial reports surfaced.
We’ve received numerous reports of possible election-related issues in northeast Mississippi. Below is my official statement. pic.twitter.com/FFkfNhCfNX
— Michael Watson (@MichaelWatsonMS) June 7, 2021
According to the Secretary of State and District Attorney for the area it is unlawful for anyone to publicly or privately offer a prize, cash award or other item of value in order to encourage someone to vote or refrain from voting.
“I take election fraud seriously and I am dedicated to handling this matter and any other violations aggressively,” said Weddle. “If you have first-hand knowledge of one of these events where money was offered in a drawing or in the form of a prize, and care about free, fair and honest elections, we’d love to hear from you.”
Secretary Watson added that he will have observers from his office in roughly 60 cities throughout the state during Tuesday’s election. He asked for individuals who see anything to continue reporting election issues to the SOS Elections Hotline (601-576-2550).