Cut the red tape from Miss. electionsPublished 12:06am Thursday, May 9, 2013
Moving a polling place less than a mile down the road to merge with another, more modern one just seems logical, efficient and a decision rooted in common sense.
But this is Mississippi, the state the federal government is convinced remains stuck in the Jim Crow Era.
Before Mississippi changes anything related to elections, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, we must ask Big Brother at the U.S. Department of Justice if it’s OK to do so.
Never mind that the people making the decisions have probably never stepped foot in Adams County, let alone know where Thompson School and Frazier School are located. Adams County Elections Commissioners seek to merge those two polling places into one.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 continues to require Mississippi and a number of other jurisdictions to gain federal clearance before any changes are made. It’s silly and a complete waste of government resources.
Anyone familiar with Natchez knows the two polling places in question are practically within a stone’s throw of one another.
Logic and common sense over such things, however, remain clouded thanks to the atrocious behavior of our state’s sordid past and antiquated laws meant to punish us for the past.
We hope and pray Supreme Court justices, currently considering a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 5, realize that in today’s world, the preclearance rule is simply bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake.
Any moves prevented by the preclearance rule could also be “caught” by taking the matter to court, too, thus making the hundreds of useful changes to the political system — like merging two polling places that are close together and redundant — go more quickly.