In March, Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2358, a bill called a “Bill Harvesting Bill,” with the aim of preventing Mississippians from collecting or transmiting an absentee ballot on behalf of someone else. Under the measure, that could result in the person being charged with a misdemeanor and a face up to one year in the county jail.
The bill is to take effect on July 1, ahead of the August primary elections. The measure is supported by Secretary of State Michael Watson and Gov. Tate Reeves said when the bill was signed that it will uphold the integrity of the election process.
Watson’s Democratic opponent in the November general elections Shuwaski Young, took issue with the bill on Monday, June 5. In a statement, Young said the bill will make voting more difficult for disabled Mississippians, veterans and seniors.
“As a Veteran, I am appalled by Michael Watson’s efforts to make it harder for Veterans and Seniors to vote,” Young said. “All Mississippians deserve ballot access, and our residents, especially Seniors, Veterans, and citizens living with disabilities should never be victims to the undemocratic and uncompassionate voter suppression tactics of elected officials, like Michael Watson, that make it difficult for voters to vote.”
Young said he hopes the Mississippi Supreme Court will strike down Senate Bill 2358 as unconstitutional.
“I ask all Mississippians to join me, the Mississippi ACLU, the Mississippi Center for Justice, and other public servants who respect Democracy to stand in full opposition to Michael Watson and the election suppression laws that take effect on July 1,” Young said. “I will talk more about these issues as we head to the Nov. 7 elections.”