Democratic Presidential Primary Ballot for the March 8, 2016 Primary
On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered the Secretary of State’s Office and effectively every county in Mississippi to add Willie Wilson’s name to the Democratic Presidential Primary Ballot. The Supreme Court found the Mississippi Democratic Party violated Mr. Wilson’s due process in not placing him on the ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office appealed on Friday, February 26, 2016, specifically as it applied to restricting votes by military and overseas voters. The Mississippi Supreme Court issued a revised decision on the same day. By reason of this revised decision, Wilson’s name was required to be placed on the Democratic Primary Ballot for March 8th as a presidential candidate and Wilson’s name was not required to be added to any absentee ballots prepared or issued to voters.
This case is totally the result of a failure by the Mississippi Democratic Party. Mississippi Circuit Clerks, Election Commissioners and the Secretary of State were not at fault in this matter. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party’s mistake is estimated to cost Mississippians Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars.
After discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office, the following determinations have been made:
1) Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) Democratic voters have been sent a new ballot. In order to comply with UOCAVA, it was necessary for the Secretary of State to promulgate an administrative rule extending the deadline by which to receive UOCAVA absentee ballots for the March 8, 2016 Primary Election in all counties. To comply with federal law, UOCAVA voters who request a Democratic Primary absentee ballot between today and Tuesday, March 8, will be provided the revised Democratic Primary absentee ballot. If the UOCAVA voter chooses to cast the second ballot, the first absentee ballot will be replaced with the second absentee ballot, with only the second absentee ballot counted on Election night. If the UOCAVA voter chooses not to cast the second ballot, the first cast absentee ballot will be counted on Election night. The UOCAVA voter may return the cast absentee ballot by e-mail, fax or mail. The ballot, if returned by e-mail or fax, must be received by the UOCAVA voter’s Circuit Clerk no later than 7:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. The ballot, if returned by mail, must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and must be received by the UOCAVA voter’s Circuit Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 17, 2016.
2) All absentee ballots will continue to exclude Willie Wilson’s name.
3) Willie Wilson’s name will appear on the Democratic Presidential Primary Ballot on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
SOS Delbert Hosemann