Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup. 

Go Vote, Mississippi… Special Elections being held today

Two State Senate seats are up for grabs in contested special election races today, as are spots on local school boards, county supervisors, sheriff and other offices.

Polls are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Voters must present a valid photo ID. To find out more, visit the Secretary of State’s website here.

YP – State Rep. Jon Lancaster switches to the Republican Party

State Representative Jon Lancaster, previously of the Democratic Party, has switched sides and will now be part of the Republican Party in Mississippi.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn sent a message to GOP caucus members on Friday evening saying, “I am proud to announce that our friend and colleague Jon Lancaster has decided to switch parties and become a Republican. Please welcome him.”

Lancaster, a farmer, is relatively new to the House of Representatives. He was elected in 2019 to represent District 22 which includes Pontotoc and Chickasaw counties.

YP – White House issues new guidance on COVID vaccine mandates for federal contractors

Amid a backlash from workers of federal contractors, including right here in Mississippi, the White House released updated guidance on Monday as it relates to President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandates.

The new guidance appears to provide some flexibility for federal contractors as they have been under the gun with a December 8th deadline that will likely result in the termination of workers who do not comply.

According to the guidance, federal contractors “may be” required to provide accommodations who do not get vaccinated for COVID because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, adding that the contractor should consider what accommodation it must offer. The White House guidance appears to put the ball for this determination in the contractors’ court.

YP – U.S. Supreme Court hears abortion case arguments from Texas today, Mississippi on December 1st

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court convened to hear oral arguments in a pair of cases challenging a Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Arguments in the cases involving the Texas ban are taking place exactly one month before the Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch is asking the Court to consider the policy and cultural shifts that have occurred in the decades since Roe. The AG argues that science and society have changed since Roe v. Wade and that the Legislature should respond to those advances.

MSDH COVID-19 Reporting – For 3 Days

YP – FDA approves COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years old

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age. The vaccine was 91% effective at preventing symptomatic illness in this younger age group, according to a clinical trial…

…This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to discuss a whether or not to recommend the use and rollout of the vaccine to children 5 through 11 years of age.

“Today’s emergency use authorization is supported by clinical data showing a favorable safety profile and high vaccine efficacy in children, underlining its potential to address a current public health need,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “As children 5 through 11 get reacclimated to the new school year, both in and out of the classroom, our goal is to help keep them safe and protected and get them back to normalcy.”

Governor Reeves, MSGOP supporting Youngkin in Virginia Governor race

YP – AG Lynn Fitch reports on successful operation to protect children from online predators

In partnership with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General Lynn Fitch reported on a cyber crime operation, Operation Sweet Tooth, carried out in the week leading up to Halloween. The operation led to four arrests for the exploitation or enticement of minors, the execution of five search warrants, and multiple ongoing investigations, which may lead to additional arrests.

“My Office is committed to keeping Mississippi’s children safe from those who would harm them physically, mentally, and emotionally, and rob them of their innocence,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “I am grateful to the dedicated prosecutors and investigators of this Office and to our partners in local, state, and federal law enforcement for their work on this operation and every day to clear the Internet of child predators.”

YP – Governor Tate Reeves directs the Mississippi Poultry Association’s Charitable donation to Extra Table

Mississippi’s poultry and egg companies donated truckloads of chicken and eggs to Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves directed the donation to Hattiesburg-based Extra Table charity, which fundraises to purchase new, healthy and shelf-stable food to be delivered monthly to the food pantries or soup kitchens across Mississippi.

“I am proud to direct the Mississippi Poultry Association’s generous donation of 575,000 servings of protein to Extra Table,” said Governor Reeves. “Extra Table goes above and beyond throughout the state to make sure no family goes hungry, and their efforts are to be commended. I look forward to continue working with our partners to end hunger in Mississippi.”

“Our member companies donate tons of food locally throughout the year and after disasters, but once a year, they combine their efforts in this donation with a statewide impact to the governor,” said Mark Leggett, president of the Mississippi Poultry Association.