On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required certain states with a history of voter suppression, including Mississippi, to obtain federal approval of all election changes.
The court majority ruled that the provision was no longer needed. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who oversees state elections, answered questions on the ruling from the Daily Journal’s Bobby Harrison.
Q: Explain the impact of the Votings Rights ruling on Mississippi.
A: The Supreme Court ruled Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, meaning its formula could no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions, which included Mississippi, to preclearance. Prior to the decision, our state, counties and municipalities had to ask permission from the federal government before making any change to elections. This included everything from moving a precinct across the street to our voter ID requirement.
The Supreme Court decision now puts Mississippi on a level playing field with every other state in the nation. I believe our state and our citizens are competent to make election decisions without asking permission from the federal government. Mississippians have earned the right, and deserve the right, to conduct their own elections. We are closing a chapter in our history.
Read more: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal – 3Qs Delbert Hosemann