Mississippi Democratic Party Flip-Flops in Voter Litigation

The Mississippi Democratic Party has asked Federal District Court Judge Allen Pepper to reconsider his order issued on June 11th, 2006 declaring a part of Mississippi’s voter law unconstitutional, ordering party registration and ordering the Mississippi legislature to pass voter registration and photo id for voting in all elections after August 7th, 2007. Under the Federal Judge’s ruling, the Mississippi Legislature has the option to institute voter identification or to “fashion some other form of primary system that does not infringe on political parties’ right to disassociate opposing-party members from possible party-raiding.”

Even though the Mississippi Democratic Party prevailed in its lawsuit, the Reconsideration Motion takes the odd position of requesting the legislature to have primary jurisdiction. The Federal Court already ordered the legislature to either change the law or institute voter identification. Therefore the Legislature will have the right to perform its constitutional function.

In the most unusual aspect of the case to date, the Mississippi Democratic Party requested that since the Federal Judge found the law unconstitutional, then the August 7, 2007 elections will be unconstitutional. It then requested the Federal Court to “exercise it (sp) equitable powers to afford plaintiffs post-election relief, if legally required.” This would mean that the Mississippi Democratic Party could require the ordering of new elections if they believe Republicans or independents effect the election of any candidate of the Mississippi Democratic Party. They make no statement as to how they would determine if that occurred.

Delbert Hosemann said: “Instead of encouraging an open electoral process, we now find that the Mississippi Democratic Party wants an election and if it does not turn out like they like it, then they will declare it unconstitutional and ‘call for a do-over’. This political gamesmanship takes the electoral process out of the hands of the voters and puts it in the hands of a few select insiders. Another election would cost Mississippi tax payers over $500,000.”

Hosemann said further: “As your Secretary of State, I would work with the Legislature to accomplish the common sense solution to insuring the integrity of our vote – a constitutional inclusive voter identification process which would include a realistic achievable registration plan particularly targeted for senior and disabled citizens.”

As of this date, no rehearing date has been established and no reply briefs have been filed on behalf of the Defendants in the litigation, Governor Barbour; Attorney General Hood and Secretary of State Clark who collectively make up the Elections Commission for the State of Mississippi.

Delbert Hosemann Press Release
6/25/7