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Suppression Games - Mississippi

I am writing today about my recent adventure in voter registration.  I've had some recently developments in my life that necessitated a change of address.  Change of address, same US Congressional district, meant updating my voter registration.  During the process I was reminded of the suppression games of Mississippi in voting.  Many automatically think Voter ID when I write, suppression games, in the South ID is the least of the ways of suppressing the vote. 

My secretary of state, Delbert Hosemann, touts the ease of voter registration in Mississippi.  His favorite is  using the online method,  I used this site, waited 7 days, and then call my new county to confirm.  Shocker of all shocks, I am not on the rolls.  We have less than 3M people in Mississippi and only 1.8M are registered to vote, my desktop can process those numbers.

All things being me,  I confirmed with a voice at the Clerk's office the times of operation.  I stated I would arrive in-person to fill out a paper form.  I arrived  at 3:50P.M, with my son , to change  registration information.  In a city that has more citizens than my previous county, no one who understood voter registration was in the office when I arrived. In fact the person had "just left" prior to my arrival.  My son and I filled out the forms, walking the receptionist through the process.  I gathered names and cards from the office.  Left a sticky note for confirmation and informed I would return in-person. 

One reason for my persistence, other than not trusting county clerks in Mississippi to do their jobs properly, is the deadline to make the change to vote in primary election was close.  I made sure to be at City Hall early the following Saturday morning to confirm the updates were marked as being received.  Katy, the person who understood registration, was more than helpful once she understood I understood importance of voting.  I helped her to understand the ward map for the municipality to which I have relocated.  She then gave to me a tour of City Hall and informed me of the times for meetings.  I am thankful I have a very flexible work schedule.   

After I left Katy at City Hall,  I took public transit to an Indivisible event in the city next door.  There, during a discussion, I learned something more about voter suppression.  As I related my experience with online change of voter registration,  I was informed the same thing happens for those registering via DMV in Mississippi.   I confirmed DMV voter registration was an issue not confined to a regional area of Mississippi.  You are told DMV will register you during your update to ID/license but you are not.  In the case of my youngest,  he had to do so via paper form in 2016 after confirming in August 2016 he wasn't registered.

Paper may be Mississippi's best option when it comes to voting and registering to vote.   Recently Madison County announced a return to paper ballots.  Having seen machines not work in both Georgia and Mississippi,  my initial response is to champion the move.  However, I then recall the games played in Hinds county with paper ballots:  no ballots or wrong ballots.   The inability to vote due to mechanical error, incorrectly printed ballots or the lack of ballots is suppression at its best. Those charged with regulating elections know many will not follow-up or stay in line to vote. 

If you follow me on Twitter then you know on election day, I often tweet "hold the line" or "stay in line".  I do so for I am aware of the games long played to prevent people from voting.  I have recently  started to state, check your registration 45 days prior to any election.  You can't be purged from the rolls during that time.  Also, precincts must be confirmed during that time.  We can no longer be on auto-pilot when it comes to voting.  The Democratic party, ACLU, and NAACP would be served well to focus on the acts of voter suppression.



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