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US judge not blocking multistep Mississippi election system

A federal judge has ruled that he will not immediately block Mississippi’s unique, multistep process for electing a governor and other statewide officials.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III said he would not issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the system from being used in Tuesday’s elections.

Mississippi’s 1890 constitution requires a statewide candidate to win a majority of the popular vote and a majority of the 122 state House districts. If nobody wins both, the election is decided by the House, now controlled by Republicans.

African American plaintiffs who sued the state argued that the system unconstitutionally violates the principle of one person, one vote.

Jordan wrote that he would issue a separate order on state officials’ request that he dismiss the lawsuit.

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