Home > Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi Legislature, Mississippi Voter ID, Phil Bryant > Hosemann responds to DOJ employee who called Miss. “disgusting and shameful”

Hosemann responds to DOJ employee who called Miss. “disgusting and shameful”

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann would like the Department of Justice employee who called Mississippi’s pursuit of a voter ID statute “disgusting and shameful” removed from any involvement in the state’s application to implement the new law.

Stefanie Gyamfi, who works in DOJ’s Voting Rights Division, made the comments on Facebook. Hosemann said at a press conference Tuesday morning that he became aware of them last week.

“I’m tired of people who don’t live in Mississippi stereotyping us,” Hosemann said.

Federal law requires a state seeking approval from DOJ on matters like the implementation of a voter ID law be treated with impartiality, something Hosemann said he’s afraid “isn’t happening here.”

Mississippi’s voter ID law must meet Section 5 of 1965’s Voting Rights Act. That section requires preclearance of any new voting law in states of covered jurisdiction. DOJ has recently rejected voter ID applications from South Carolina and Texas. Hosemann said Mississippi crafted its bill with that in mind. For example, he said, Texas and South Carolina’s law did not provide free IDs to anybody who needed one. Mississippi’s does.

Mississippi’s application process has already started. Attorney General Jim Hood submitted the preliminary paperwork in January, and DOJ responded in March. The next big step will come after Gov. Phil Bryant signs the bill enacting voter ID, which was passed this session in response to last fall’s ballot initiative. The bill will be made a part of the state’s application.

If Hosemann is convinced strongly enough that Mississippi won’t get a fair shake from DOJ, litigating the state’s application in front of a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is an option. Hosemann said he’s already considering doing that.

  1. Reba G. Cook
    May 9th, 2012 at 09:50 | #1

    Why would three liberal judges in DC be any fairer than the DOJ? Everyone needs a whipping boy and Mississippi was appointed to that position years ago. Mississippi will get nothing from this administration that isn’t approved by Bennie Thompson

  2. B.J.
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:18 | #2

    The people of MS voted on this change. This should be a mute question.
    DOJ can go to ____!

  3. KennyR
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:00 | #3

    We should get this thing into the courts and appeal processes as soon as possible. Otherwise the DOJ will function as a puppet of the Democratic party and delay implementation of our law until after the presidential election. Delbert should get the process going with that in mind.

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